Some Boston hotels, restaurants are still looking for workers when business returns


BOSTON – The city of Boston comes alive on Labor Day Eve, as thousands of college students and their families return to town.

Although business is picking up, some hotels and restaurants say they still can’t reach the same staffing levels they had before the outbreak.

“The staff, the energy, it’s been an incredible challenge for me,” said Amy Finsilver, general manager of XV Beacon Hotel.

This summer, Finsilver has seen business return to pre-pandemic levels since the Boston Marathon. Her employee status was not restored, forcing her to personally fill jobs such as concierge, front desk, and valet.

“We’re still operating with less than half the staff,” Finsilver said.

According to the latest jobs report, the labor market remains strong. The economy added 315,000 jobs in August. Unemployment rose to 3.7 percent from 3.5 percent in July. According to the US Department of Labor, there are still two jobs for every unemployed worker.

At the Tuscan Kitchen in Seaport, the situation is not so dire. The restaurant’s general manager, Charlie Wright, said that 85 percent of his employees are continuing the outbreak, while the rest have left the restaurant industry.

“Really the heart and success of this restaurant is the people,” Wright said.

Finsilver is now recruiting and training people from outside the hotel industry. She wonders if the workforce will all be fully restored.

“Why work 365 days, open a 24 hour business when you can work from home, change their hours,” she said.

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