Rosie O’Grady’s announced on social media that it was having it’s “Last Call” June 27 due to staff shortages.

Rosie O’Grady’s announced on social media that it was having it’s “Last Call” June 27 due to staff shortages.

Photo by Mike Koury


Ferndale businesses discuss post-pandemic hiring troubles

Rosie O’Grady’s announces closure, cites staff shortages

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 1, 2021

 Clean Plates in Ferndale is one of several businesses that is looking to hire people, but has been having trouble doing so for the last couple of months.

Clean Plates in Ferndale is one of several businesses that is looking to hire people, but has been having trouble doing so for the last couple of months.

Photo by Mike Koury

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FERNDALE — Establishments in Ferndale and neighboring cities are working to get back to the way business was before the COVID-19 pandemic. The problem is that some are having trouble finding people to hire.

This matter isn’t isolated to just Ferndale, as businesses in Oakland County cities from Berkley to Farmington have been dealing with staffing level issues as well. Recently, however, one of Ferndale’s signature establishments announced it would be closing its doors because of this specific issue.

Rosie O’Grady’s announced on Facebook that it would be closing June 27 due to low staffing. Owned by the Kramer Restaurant Group, which also owns One-Eyed Betty’s and Pop’s for Italian, Rosie O’Grady’s did tease in its post that it was “hard at work” reimagining the corner of Nine Mile and Allen roads and asked patrons to “stay tuned.”

“We can’t say enough about this great community of ours,” the statement read. “We appreciate the people that have graced us with their patronage. We’re sorry for such short notice it’s mostly due in part to ongoing staffing shortages.”

Attempts to reach Rosie O’Grady’s for additional comment on the closure were not returned by press time.

From gyms to hair salons and restaurants, there are many industries that have “help wanted” signs on their windows in Ferndale.

Alex Garza, manager of meal prep company Clean Plates, said his business has been looking to hire two employees. While the signs have been out for several weeks, he said they’ve had postings online for a few months too.

Garza feels that the state benefits for unemployment have had the biggest impact in staffing issues.

“It’s been getting better, so I’m not sure if that attributes to the benefits going away from people or not, but it had been difficult for some time because literally no one was looking,” he said. “There were spurts — and you could tell the spurts were in between when benefits would go away or when they were reinstated — that we’d get a lot of people to apply, and then next thing you know nothing at all from any platform that we’ve tried using.”

Chris Garcia, a manager and bartender at Howe’s Bayou, said the restaurant “absolutely” has been having trouble finding people to hire. He’s also seen that many in the industry have been actively trying to get out and work somewhere else. Both that reason and the unemployment incentive are reasons why Garcia believes it’s been difficult getting people on staff.

“The unemployment incentive to stay at home is probably a little bit bigger than people at a restaurant could match,” he said. “I mean, we’re making good money, it’s just you could stay home and … it’s not in my work ethic to stay at home. I don’t understand it, but a lot of people are getting out of the industry.”

Garcia said Howe’s has been looking to hire at least seven people to be fully operational and back to where it was pre-pandemic. As of now, Howe’s has had a skeleton crew and had to close Sundays and Mondays to give their current staff some days off.

“We’re seeing a little bit more interest,” he said of recent positive developments. “I think it’ll probably be at the end of the month, the end of July, we’ll start coming back.”

Garza also felt the hiring process has been a bit better lately.

“We’re still looking, especially considering now that people are being more active and out and about, now there’s more of a need,” he said.

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