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Metro Detroit hospitality industry preparing for busy summer months

Posted at 10:53 PM, May 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 22:53:15-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — On Friday, the U.S. Department of Labor released its April jobs report. It shows employers added 428,000 jobs.

The agency said the leisure and hospitality sector, which was hit hardest by the pandemic, led the recent hiring surge.

While hiring has been an overall challenge for businesses during much of the pandemic, establishments 7 Action News spoke with say they're doing everything they can to maintain adequate staffing levels during the coming summer months.

“We’re not unique from the standpoint that we work in the hospitality industry — restaurants, hotels, bars — that are really struggling to get keep and get staff right now," said Maceo Keeling, the director of lifestyle at Detroit Foundation Hotel.

With summer weddings, monthly events and the proximity to big happenings in downtown Detroit, Keeling said his team is tackling recruitment challenges by better managing the workload for the existing staff. He explained that includes reducing hours during slower time periods and increasing staffing levels during busier nights.

Keeling said the hotel has also stepped up recruiting efforts through job postings.

“The interest in applicants has been steady, but it's always going to be that challenge of finding hires at those higher levels where you need more experience and more specialized expertise," he explained.

Higher turnover for some of the hourly positions is also expected, Keeling said.

Ryan Miller, a client success manager with Employment BOOST said, “So, typically in the summer, there’s a little bit less movement in the labor market because people have their vacations booked, they are typically going places on the weekend and they’re using their accrued time."

"That’s both as candidates and also the people who hired those candidates," he explained.

Because of that, Miller said hiring does have a tendency to slow down in the summer months, which presents a seasonal challenge for recruiters.

Jessica Britton, a manager at Mootz Pizzeria and Bar said, “We have had great applicants come through, top talented applicants come through, which helps out with our training process.”

She said because the restaurant is relatively small, it doesn't require a large staff on a daily basis. That helps prevent burnout for kitchen staff and servers heading into the summer months.

“I think it’s going to be good. It’ll be busy. We’ve already had our nice days. We’ve had record-breaking days here. Our staff has been able to handle it. But we’re always looking for more to bring to our staff, more energetic people," Britton explained.