Thoughts on the Worker Shortage

The last few months, I’ve been reading quite a few articles where business owners are speaking out about not being able to find suitable staff to work in their establishments. According to many of these business owners the issue stems from Government handouts and the fact that “people just don’t want to work”.

I personally believe this all to be a massive falsehood being perpetuated by business owners, who for a long time, have profited off the backs of their workers and now are actually having to adapt and pay their staff what they are worth.

Before the pandemic hit Canada, restaurants and bars had plenty of staff who were serving their patrons. It is my contention that a majority of these people fall into a very specific camp that now have more options.

The camp I am referring to is people who are stuck in a job they don’t want, with an emlpoyer who treats them poorly, and before the pandemic, they really could not afford to train or branch out for a new job and a new beginning. What the pandemic has shown is that when you give someone who feels they are in a dead end job or are being mistreated by their employer and opportunity at a better life, most of them will take it.

The main argument I hear is that with Food costs and overhead, these poor restaurants and bars can’t afford to pay more than minimum wage, and need their patrons to supplement their workers income via tipping. I’m sorry but anyone who can do even basic math knows that is simply untrue.

A 10KG bag of flour costs a REGULAR customer roughly $14, not someone buying in bulk or regularly taking delivery of large quantites of flour. An average pizza shop (mom and pop not chain) charges anywhere between $10 and $20 for a pizza. Doing some simple math you can easily see that a regular bag of flour pays for itself with the sale of a single pizza. Even factoring in toppings, sauce, and cheese, a pizza still has very healthy margins if you’re selling a quality pizza and have regular customers (literally everyone is ordering in at the moment) there’s absolutely no reason that you can’t pay your staff a living wage.

I’m sorry but that argument is absolute bull shit!