Heady's is a popular Tri-State pizza shop with two locations between Evansville and Henderson. But while the orders keep coming, its Evansville location is having a hard time keeping up with demand.
"We have a couple of driver positions open, we're looking for management and we're looking for in-store help," Heady's Pizza Operations Manager Jason Pinkston said. "We'll have people, 30 applicants a day, schedule 5 interviews out of them, none of them shows up and usually the ones that do show up will go through the whole hiring process, get them in the system, pay the accounts, put them in the system and they never show up for work."
Heady's struggle is just a snapshot of the ongoing labor crisis. Just pull up one of the public job-sharing groups on Facebook and you'll find an endless list of opportunities updated almost daily.
Nationwide the food industry continues to be among the hardest hit. The most recent U.S. Labor Department report shows nearly 900,000 people left jobs in restaurants, bars and hotels in August, up 21% from July.
That's why, like many others, Heady's is hoping to better entice prospective hires.
"We've changed our focus a little bit," Pinkston said. "We care about our employees; we try and offer incentives for being here."
By adding a few more toppings to the pie, Pinkston said his employment issues have lessened and he's been able to close some of the gaps, but even though things are looking up, he's bracing for whatever comes next and he's determined to deliver Evansville city-wide service for years to come.
"If COVID outbreaks again, people are going to be scared to go to work, but we're still going to be there," Pinkston said. "Someone is going to be here, these ovens are going to be on."