Business owners struggle to find employees during the pandemic

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – With COVID-19 vaccinations, businesses seized the opportunity to expand current stores and open new locations. However, now businesses are running into an unexpected problem.

Both Ambitions Barbershop and Kiko’s traditional tacos & burritos opened their doors to the public less than five months ago. They thought they’d be fully staffed by now, but months later, they’re still looking for help.

“Most people are not used to working their nine to five, or their normal hours, so it’s kind of what we are struggling with,” said Emerson Romero, co-owner of Kiko’s.

He says he knew opening a restaurant during the pandemic would bring on some complications.

“People will come in, go through the interview process, and after the interview process once they are actually hired on, they won’t show up for the actual full day,” said Romero.

Opening four months ago, Ambitions Barbershop only has three barbers, but are in need of more.

“We got a lot of new walk-ins and we don’t have enough barbers,” said Kevin Lozano, co-owner of Ambitions Barbershop. “We usually stay here until like eight or nine sometimes.”

The three barbers usually work overtime the majority of the workweek.

“We usually have a full schedule all day and at the same time we have to keep walk in traffic flowing and get everybody in and out,” said Angel Villa, co-owner of Ambitions Barbershop.

Owners of Ambitions and Kiko’s hope to hire their full staff within seven months.

“Once we have the amount of people that we are looking for, I feel like the actual process of our business is going to move forward,” said Romero.

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