NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— It will be a very busy week for New Orleans with thousands of visitors coming in for the Sugar Bowl and New Year’s Eve parties, but many downtown businesses still have staffing shortages that started in the pandemic.

With the Sugar Bowl and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve along with the annual Fleur De Lis drop, the downtown streets will be packed with people. With large crowds many businesses like Felipe’s Taqueria say it is a struggle to keep up because they don’t have enough employees and the ones they do have are already working six shifts this week.

“It has been extremely difficult to get people to work in the restaurant industry,” Pike Howard, Owner of Felipe’s said.

Howard said for the last year or so, they’ve only been staffed at 70 percent.

“We need help and we can’t figure out why people don’t want to help us. We can’t get people to come work, I just don’t know,” he said.

A tough question to answer but he feels it could be that there are too many other job options or no sense of loyalty.

He said they’d like to capitalize on the New Year’s Eve crowds by staying open later, but that’s tough.

“It is harder to do that. You can’t just get it done, you can’t accomplish some of those far reaching goals,” he said.

Visitors to our wonderful city say when they come to a business, it is important there’s enough workers because workers enhance the experience.

At Felipe’s the incentives are there, they offer 401K, dental, vision, healthcare, paid vacation, and long term disability.

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