As teens head back to school, Jersey Shore restaurants may be in need of workers

Katie Katro Image
Thursday, August 20, 2020
As teens head back to school, shore restaurants in need of workers
For businesses at the shore, this fall could be a pivotal season, but there is a new problem.

SEA ISLE CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- For businesses at the shore, this fall could be a pivotal season. Many are hoping nice weather will bring big crowds to make up for a slow summer, but now some are running into a new problem - they're not sure who will be around to staff their shops and restaurants.

"I want to go back to school, but like I want to be able to stay down here longer," said Molly McCarthy, of Havertown, who has been working at Carmen's Seafood Restaurant in Sea Isle City.

A dilemma for teens and business owners down at the shore. As the summer comes to a close, the workers are getting ready to go back to school.

"It's just going to be a day when I'm like this is it," said McCarthy, "because everything is so last minute now."

These teens are workers that businesses really depend on.

"Staffing has been incredibly difficult this year," said Ruthy Conti, owner of Carmen's Seafood Restaurant. "I think some of the problem is with the unemployment, they got to stay home with $600 extra a week, and the other is our foreign students."

Conti and her husband said they are preparing to lose a big portion of their staff in the fall.

"I'm sad, I want to work here all year if I could," said Sabrina Kelly, a teenager working at Carmen's.

Conti is hopeful the busy season extends into the fall, but she's not sure who will be around to work.

"It's really unforeseen. We don't know. It will get hard I think. It's going to get hard, especially Labor Day weekend is going to be hard. I think because a lot of kids will have gone back," said Conti.

However, it's a reality she's come to accept.

"People come up to you and say, 'I forgot to tell you, I have to go back to school tomorrow, or I forgot to tell you that today is my last day.' So then you scramble and try to find somebody else to come in, even if they come for a day, you're thankful," said Conti.