SPOKANE, Wash. — Amid an employee shortage that has impacted many businesses in Spokane, Old European is offering an incentive for new hires — and people who bring them to the restaurant.
The economic rebound from the pandemic recession has been so fast that many businesses nationwide, particularly in the hard-hit hospitality sector — which includes restaurants, bars and hotels — have been unable to fill all their job openings. Some unemployed people have also been reluctant to look for work because they fear catching COVID-19.
Others have entered new occupations rather than return to their old jobs and many women, especially working mothers, have had to leave the workforce to care for children.
In a Facebook post, Old European on Division Street in North Spokane said it has been staying busy and, as a result, is "in desperate need of a few cooks" to join its team. Old European asked people in the post to send anyone their way who would be a good fit.
The benefit for someone who refers a jobseeker to Old European? A $500 gift card to the restaurant after the hired employee works 90 days, according to the post. The hired employee will also receive a $500 cash bonus after work for 90 days.
Old European is not the only Spokane business that has offered an incentive to new hires.
Davenport Hotels is looking to hire dozens of people for management and hourly positions. To combat the ongoing employee shortage, the company has increased its hourly wage to about $15/hour and is offering a signing bonus.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.