SF red hot restaurant market seeing cooling in attracting employees

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- While San Francisco's restaurant scene continues to be hot, the pool of candidates to fill open positions is cooling down.

Help wanted signs are posted all over. And for the first time, they're staying up for months.

"It's expensive to live in San Francisco right now, and if you're a cook making $30,000 a year, it's a hard decision to stay in the industry," said Gwyneth Borden at Golden Gate Restaurant.

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A one bedroom in San Francisco goes for about $3,000 a month. Restaurant owners admit that they simply can't afford to pay employees enough to live in the city where they work.

"I have people who want to move here from San Diego, Sacramento, or where ever. I don't even talk to them because I know they can't afford to come here and we can't relocate them," explained Laurie Thomas with Rose Pistola.

That's one reason why many are leaving the restaurant industry and finding jobs at tech startups or even as Uber drivers, where they can make more money.

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Hiring cooks and busboys takes longer since those positions don't always have access to tips.

"It's been hard to get the staff together. We have been working on it for a couple of months," said Domenico Testal, a server.

Those in the industry say a possible solution may be to raise prices for consumers to then increase salaries in the kitchen.

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