Restaurants fight for qualified workers as Nashville experiences rapid growth

PHOTO: WZTV FOX 17 Nashville

Rapid growth in Nashville has new restaurants and bars popping up on almost every corner, but owners are having a hard time finding enough qualified employees to staff the new spots.

Jayson Facili started bartending at Germantown Café nearly 11 years ago.

“I can tell you a lot of stories,” Facili laughed. “It was much harder back then to get a job than it is now.”

He said the industry is so desperate for workers that it seems like almost anyone can find a job at a restaurant or bar. With more than 20 years of experience, Facili is highly sought-after.

“I've been approached by other places in the past to come check them out,” Facili said.

It's why some bar and restaurant owners are getting creative to try and attract good workers.

“They’ll offer bonuses, vacation days, a lot of places are looking into health benefits,” Facili explained.

Germantown Cafe's General Manager Greg Hilbourn said about two thirds of his staff are solid, but that bottom third is always looking for greener grass.

“They can always think they can make more money when the new restaurant opens up. It's the same thing with the cooks. We hire them and then they find a job that pays a dollar more,” Hilbourn said.

While qualified staff like Jayson may be hard to find, the general manager says it's quality that keeps a place in business amid all the city's growth.

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