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Metro Atlanta restaurants still struggling to stay staffed

Now that people in Atlanta are returning to restaurants, many across the metro are struggling to hire enough people to keep up with demand.

BUCKHEAD, Ga. — Since the beginning of the pandemic, the restaurant industry has experienced a series of challenges and the industry is still struggling.

Now that people in Atlanta are returning to restaurants, many across the metro are struggling to hire enough people to keep up with demand.

The owner of Botica in Buckhead says the heat is on the restaurant industry. 

"We have to be more honest about everything we do. A better product all the time. Be creative," Chef Mimmo said. 

According to the National Restaurant Association, job openings are at an all-time high in the industry, recording a record-breaking 1.2 million open positions.  

RELATED: Why are restaurants struggling to find employees?

Regardless of thousands of restaurants looking for employees in Atlanta, Chef Mimmo said it's a small business. 

"Finding people, and getting people. It's like, you treat five people good, they're going to spread the word, word of mouth, word of mouth," he said. 

At Botica they employ 70 people, and Mimmo said they're still taking applications. 

RELATED: US adds a solid 850,000 jobs as economy extends its gains

Recent studies show people are leaving the industry for higher-paying jobs, with more flexibility or benefits, according to the National Restaurant Association. 

Mimmo said restaurant owners have to pay attention to what workers are telling them.  

"Flexible schedule, the pay, of course, has to be there, but also the atmosphere," he said.

Despite the struggle some restaurants are facing, Mimmo said he's optimistic about the future of the industry.  

"I think we'll be fine. Everyone needs a job, everyone wants to go out and eat!"

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