HADDONFIELD, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey has lifted COVID-19 capacity requirements for state businesses, but the hard-hit restaurant industry is now dealing with another big headache — hiring.
“It’s fantastic,” Kings Road Brewing Managing Director Bob Hochgertel said. “It’s fantastic.”READ MORE: Crash Involving SEPTA Bus, 4 Vehicles In Philadelphia's Cobbs Creek Neighborhood
Haddonfield is once again bustling.
At Kings Road Brewery, the road to normalcy has been long. They opened four months before the first lockdown.
“First, it was outdoor seating,” Hochgertel said. “And then, indoor seating at 25% capacity and then 50, 75, so it’s come back to life with every little change.”
And then, on Wednesday, all capacity limits were lifted, but social distancing rules will prevent them from adding tables for now.
“We still have the six-foot spacing on the tables,” Hochgertel said, “so there’s just a physical limitation to how many tables we can put in here leaving six feet between them.”READ MORE: Woman Facing Arson Charges After Allegedly Intentionally Setting Fire At Howard Johnson Hotel In Blackwood
They’ll add more staff when social distancing guidelines are lifted.
But in Turnersville, chef Tim Wichter of the Wing Kitchen says he needs staff now. They’re opening a third location in a matter of weeks, and he says he can’t wait for workers to return.
Wichter is also a teacher of culinary arts at Camden Technical School and he says he’s hiring his students.
“There’s always somebody ready to take your spot,” Wichter said. “It’s like the NFL. If there a young buck there, that’s hungry and needs money, that’s eager to learn something, and these people are hungry and want it.”
He blames the extra federal unemployment benefits and wage competition for low worker turnout, but he warns that if workers wait too long, the job market may dry up.MORE NEWS: Taste With Tori: Wake Coffee Roasters' Unique Way Of Selling Coffee Makes All Extra Happy In Morning
“Don’t rest on your laurels and be sitting on your couch and say, ‘I’m chilling for another four months,'” Wichter said. “Get out here and show these young bucks what you can do because they’re coming for you.”