When you can’t get the staff: the retail sector’s worker problem

As the economy gets back up and running, restaurants, hair and beauty salons and general retail all have challenges to confront, with many employees having moved on

Angela Ruttledge of Monck’s Green café in Phibsborough, Co Dublin: ‘If we had closed altogether, it would have been the same as opening an entirely new restaurant’. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Since the earliest stages of the pandemic, Mike Ryan has been getting text messages and phone calls from his staff who are ebbing away from the restaurant scene.

In the first months of Covid-19, mixologists were hired by drinks companies as retail sales reps, cashing in on the at-home boozing that the lockdown precipitated. Then chefs and managers left for other countries where the easing of restrictions was quicker and clearer, while servers returned to ...