Nashville Restaurants Continue Battling Labor Shortage

Posted at 4:10 PM, Aug 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-13 20:34:06-04

After a wave of restaurant closures, including Gerst Haus, Lulu and Caviar and Bananas, many Nashville restaurants continue to battle a labor shortage. 

According to Claire Crowell, COO of A. Marshall Hospitality which owns properties including Deacon's New South and Puckett's, even a minor shortage can have a major impact on businesses.

"Our industry isn't one where you can leave two   or three people out of a shift," Crowell said. "That greatly effects how that shift runs and then the guest start to feel it." 

    Crowell said the city's continued hospitality shortage has forced the industry's culture to change. Now, businesses are having to market benefits and perks in order to convince potential employees to join their team.

"We offer health care for employees who work 30 hours a week or more and discounts across all our properties," Crowell said. "We also try to have fun and celebrate our employees."   

Crowell said nearly every A. Marchall Hospitality property is hiring for at least two positions, if not more, and that number is the norm for most other restaurateurs in town. 

She said restaurant coalitions and organizations have formed, including Nashville Originals, to help businesses identify best practices and form relationships.    

"The tide rises all boats and iron sharpens iron," Crowell said. "The ones that are going to survive are the ones with the best operations and company culture."     

The Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. has also  launched a database to track hospitality job openings.