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Pandemic-induced labor shortage has put pressure on some Houston restaurants – Houston Public Media



Pandemic-induced labor shortage has put pressure on some Houston restaurants - Houston Public Media
Employees prepare food at Tiny Champions, a pizza parlor in East Downtown. Created on October 27, 2021.

Since last year’s lows, business has soared for The Grove, a restaurant and event space on the edge of Discovery Green. But now they are faced with a problem that many restaurant owners face: labor shortages.

It has been difficult for Jody Fiess, The Grove’s general manager, to find enough staff to meet the increasing demand for restaurants in recent months.

“It has been an incredible challenge to find the staff to come back and meet the demand, especially now that the number of cases is falling and there is an absolute resurgence in demand for going out, being social, holding events and getting on with life like , quote unquote, normal,” Fiess said.

Fiess added that the proliferation of businesses and the inability to hire the necessary staff to meet demand has put a strain on The Grove’s existing employees.

It’s taxing the people we have, from the hourly workers to the back of the house,” Fiess said. “Everyone works privately.”

This whiplash effect of losing your business all at once and getting it back before it’s fully staffed is something Cameron Latrelle can relate to.

He runs Latrelle’s Management Corporation, a company that operates franchise restaurants in airports – places like Pink’s Pizza, Hubcap Grill and Wendy’s at George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

“It’s clear that COVID is hitting everyone in the industry, but especially our airport locations,” Latrelle said. “It was a double whammy.”

Things are getting close to what they were before the pandemic, but hiring new staff is still difficult for Latrelle. Airport restaurants do not have the easy access that street-side restaurants have for job seekers.

At the airport, you have to park in a garage, take a train, this and that, you have to go through a badgering process that is basically an FBI clearance,” Latrelle said.

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Melissa Stewart of the Texas Restaurant Association said workers are looking for better benefits from restaurant jobs, but she adds those benefits may not be enough to bring back those who have left the industry for good.

Unfortunately, a number of people quit restaurants when they left us, and we’re just having a hard time getting back,” Stewart said.

According to a poll by the National Restaurant Association, about 78% of restaurant operators say they don’t have enough staff to meet current customer demand.

And that’s not all restaurant owners have to deal with: supply chain problems, the delta variant and inflation have made running a business even more difficult.

So what else can restaurants do to hire and retain staff?

“Our operators who are able to build or maintain their workforce, we see things like great culture, flexibility, wages, benefits and the right place for the right employee,” Stewart said.

Julia Doran tries to do just that. She co-owns Tiny Champions, an East Downtown pizza restaurant that opened in December 2020.

“I’ve been part of restaurant opening teams before,” Doran said. “Doing it during the tides of the pandemic has been more stressful and difficult than any other restaurant I’ve had the pleasure of opening.”

Julia Doran, co-owner of Tiny Champions, prepares oysters on October 27, 2021.

Although the initial hire went well, the restaurant had problems hiring staff last summer. Doran said Tiny Champions now has a strong workforce and appreciates the competitive wages and benefits the restaurant offers.

“We provide health, dentistry and vision, paid leave after a year and a fairly decent family meal every day,” Doran said.

It’s not just wages and benefits that allow Doran to retain staff. She believes the training and growth opportunities within the restaurant will enable her to retain employees for the long term.

We’re working on really cool stuff,” Doran said. “All of our chefs get involved in making, you know, learning and developing new dishes. It’s a nice place to work to expand skills and knowledge.”

Doran has worked in kitchens for 16 years and said she knows how difficult it can be to be a restaurant worker. She believes that providing competitive wages is crucial for the industry to keep moving forward.

Does that mean we might have to push the prices up a bit more? Yes,’ said Doran. ‘But our industry has been lagging behind for a long time. If it’s a more competitive market and it’s on the side of the people who cook our food, then I’m all for it.”

For now, restaurant operators are waiting for Congress to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund that ran out in July.

The Texas Restaurant Association estimates that only about a third of the restaurants that have applied have received aid, and nearly $3 billion is still needed to cover pandemic losses for Texas restaurants.

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UFC Vegas 44 Results and Recap: Aldo Dominates Font as Fiziev TKOs Riddell




(R-L) Jose Aldo punches Rob Font in their bantamweight fight during UFC Vegas 44 on December 04, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

In the main event of the 12-fight stacked card, Font, number 4 ranked bantamweight contender, opened strong but two-time former UFC featherweight champion and number 5 ranked Aldo scored a knockdown in the closing seconds of the first round.

The veteran UFC star gradually stormed forward with leg kicks, knockdowns and ground control over the remainder of the five round bout to once again showcase a legendary feat to secure a unanimous decision win for a future title shot.

After the fight, Aldo said: “This is the new Aldo you see. I trained for this. Everyone thinks I can only go three rounds, I proved I can go five. Rob Font was difficult, but nobody is going to to do.” stop me. I want to be the champion of this division and that’s what I’m working towards.”

In the co-main event, lightweight contenders No. 12-ranked Brad Riddell and No. 14-ranked Rafael Fiziev put in a high-level technically striking performance that was incredibly close over two rounds.

In the final third, Fiziev landed a spinning wheel kick to the head that knocked Riddell down and the referee called the fight to an end.

After the TKO win, Fiziev said: “I love him, he’s a good guy and a really nice person. I’ve learned from him before and today. I’ve waited three rounds for that moment because I know he’s letting his hand fall if he does way.

“There’s one legend here, maybe he wants to fight me: Vince Vaughn!” (Famous actor Vince Vaughn sat in the audience at the UFC Apex Arena.)

Also on the main card, light heavyweight #14 Jamahal Hill jumped over #13 Jimmy Crute with a fantastic KO in just 48 seconds.

Previously, veterans Clay Guida and Leonardo Santos delivered a thrilling back and forth first round, then Guida did the unthinkable and became the first person to subdue the jiu jitsu ace with a naked choke in the back of the second round.

Middleweight Chris Curtis took his second-in-a-row knockout win with stunning punches against Brendan Allen in the second round, while Alex Morono claimed a decision win against Mickey Gall in the weltherweight bout that opened up the main map.

Earlier in the preliminaries, the flyweight fight between Manel Kape and Zhalgas Zhumagulov opened with flaming fists; Kape was able to stay clear-headed and landed punches in bunches for a brilliant first round TKO finish.

Also winning decisions on the preliminary map were William Knight, Cheyanne Vlismas and Bryan Barberena, while Dusko Todorovic, Claudio Puelles and Vince Morales took the wins.

Final Results UFC Vegas 44

Main map

1. Bantamweight Fight: Jose Aldo defeated Rob Font via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)

2. Lightweight Combat: Rafael Fiziev defeated Brad Riddell via TKO (strikes) at 2:20 of round three

3. Lightweight Combat: Clay Guida defeated Leonardo Santos via submission (naked rear choke) at 1:21 of round two

4. Light Heavyweight Fight: Jamahal Hill defeated Jimmy Crute via knockout at :48 in the first round

5. Middleweight Fight: Chris Curtis defeated Brendan Allen via TKO (strikes) at 1:58 in round two

6. Welterweight Fight: Alex Morono defeated Mickey Gall by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Provisional card

1. Middleweight Fight: Dusko Todorovic defeated Maki Pitolo via TKO (strikes) at 4:34 of the first round

2. Flyweight Fight: Manel Kape defeated Zhalgas Zhumagulov via TKO (strikes) at 4:02 in round one

3. Welterweight Fight: Bryan Barberena defeated Darian Weeks by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

4. Women’s Strawweight Contest: Cheyanne Vlismas defeated Mallory Martin by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

5. Light Heavyweight Fight: William Knight defeated Alonzo Menifield by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

6. Lightweight Combat: Claudio Puelles defeated Chris Gruetzemacher via submission (knee braces) at 3:25 of round three

7. Bantamweight Fight: Vince Morales defeated Louis Smolka via knockout at 2:02 in round one

  • UFC Vegas 44: Font vs. Aldo fight card, date, start time in India, broadcast and live streaming info
  • Exciting Bantamweight contenders to headline UFC Vegas 44
  • UFC Vegas 43 results and summary: Vieira dominates Tate as Brady decides Chiesa
  • UFC Vegas 43: Vieira vs. Tate fight card, date, India start time, broadcast and live streaming info
  • UFC Vegas 42 Results & Recap: Holloway Finishes Rodriguez While Rogerio De Lima Finishes Rothwell
  • Women’s Bantamweight showcase Vieira vs Tate headlines UFC Vegas 43
  • Max Holloway Named 2021 Forrest Griffin Community Award Recipient
  • UFC Vegas 42: Holloway vs. Rodriguez fight card, date, India start time, broadcast and live streaming info
  • Exciting Featherweight contenders compete in UFC Vegas 42 headliner
  • UFC Vegas 41 results and recap: Vettori beats Costa in classic 5-round brawl as Dawson-Glenn ends in a tie
  • UFC Vegas 41: Costa vs. Vettori fight card, date, start time in India, broadcast and live streaming info
  • UFC Vegas 40 Results and Recap: Dumont Outdoes Ladd; Arlovski dominates Felipe

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A Warmer, Wetter Sunday – CBS Miami




A Warmer, Wetter Sunday - CBS Miami


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RRB NTPC’s first CBT result will be released on January 15; view the official announcement here





RRB NTPC Update: Railway Recruitment Board has announced that the results of the first computer-based test will be out by January 15, 2022. The announcement was made on December 5, 2021. Candidates who qualify for this exam must appear for the second CGT. It will be conducted between February 14 and February 18, 2022. The RRB NTPC result will be published on the official websites of the sixteen RRBs. Here is the direct link to view the official notification.

CBT Details

“The 1st Stage Computer Based Test (CBT-1) was held in 7 stages from December 28, 2020 to July 31, 2021. The result of the 1st Stage Computer Based Test (CBT-1) is currently being processed and the results are tentatively scheduled to to be published on RRB’s official websites by January 15, 2022,” the RRB informed candidates.

“The 2nd Stage Computer Based Test (CBT-2) exam for the candidates shortlisted in CBT-1 is tentatively scheduled from February 14-18, 2022, subject to prevailing conditions and government guidance issued from time to time with a view to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic,” the RRBs also said in the official notification. Official notice further reads: “Candidates are advised to refer only to RRB’s official websites for the latest updates on the recruitment process. Do not be misled by unauthorized sources.”

On December 1, #JusticeForRailwayStudents was ranked #1 on Twitter in India with over 3.5 million tweets. Railroad candidates expressed concern about RRB Recruitment. Hansraj Meena, who calls himself a writer, blogger and socio-political activist, is among the users who tweeted about the demands of railway aspirants. He tweeted: “Railway aspirants basic requirements. 1. Railway NTPC and group d training n merged data 2. Exam date of group D railway 3. new vacancy in railway 4. Conduct IRMS exam. #JusticeForRailwayStudents”


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