Cape Cod staffing shortage persists as summer season kicks off

FALMOUTH, Mass. — The summer traffic to Cape Cod is back and so are the help wanted signs; around half the shops and restaurants on Main St. in Falmouth had one in the window.

“Yeah, I don’t know where the workers are,” said Rory Maguire, owner of Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub.

Maguire said he’s down 12 waiters and 8 cooks this summer. Because he can’t fill those positions, he’s forced to close his restaurant one day a week.

“It’s definitely restricting us on being able to go seven days a week. It’s not an option this year,” Maguire said. “The college kids aren’t showing up like they normally do. The visa [workers] that normally show up, they’re not showing up this year.”

Joe Blood, a bartender at Simply Divine Pizza Co., said just about every bar and restaurant on Cape Cod is in the same boat.

“It does surprise me the workers haven’t come back,” Blood said. “Every day we’re just going to try to do our best.”

Blood said visitors this summer should call ahead to the restaurant they want to go to, and make a reservation if possible.

“I would call ahead, I would. I live here and I’ve been calling restaurants and asking if they can give me an idea what the wait is. That would be my best advice,” Blood said.

Masha Krag, an employee at Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium, said above all, customers should be patient.

“Be prepared to wait in line if you’re coming right after dinner,” she said. “A lot of people are always patient with us and they’re still very nice, even if the lines are long. They’re not rude and we’re nice to them, too.

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