Big Rapids Restaurant Struggling to Hire New Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected hiring, especially for small businesses like Wild Rose Cafe in Big Rapids.

General Manager Elaine Sanford says, “We have to pull together wherever you have to, to make it work.”

Img 4150The cafe has fallen on hard times since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. They closed for three months and recently reopened.

“I think it’s important that we know that the small businesses are working very hard to keep above water,” Elaine says.

One of those struggles includes finding hardworking employees.

“I’ve went through four different employees in the last three weeks,” Elaine says. “They’ll come in, they won’t even come back to get paid.”

Only three people work at the cafe right now, most of them part of the Sanford family—including Elaine’s daughter, Angela.

“To find somebody that has good work ethic and has speed like us, it’s pretty hard to find anymore,” Angela says. “I just think people are scared to be out and about working with individuals, but all we can do is try everyday and it’s improving every day.”

Usually, the Sanfords are the ones giving to the community. Each year, they host a Christmas dinner for people in need.

Now, they are the ones in need.

“It’s so hard to ask for help,” Angela says. “I come from a family where we don’t do that. We don’t ask for help even though we are in desperate need of it.”

No matter how hard it gets, the Sanfords are grateful for their customers.

“They’re like family to us,” Angela says. “Every time someone comes in the door that we haven’t seen in months, I have everything short of giving them a hug because I’m like, I missed you guys so much!”

“They are the backbone of this restaurant,” Elaine says. “If it wasn’t for them, I would struggle.”

Categories: Michigan This Morning