Restaurant owner John Lanni asked Biden what he was going to do to get more people back to work and the President’s answer was absolutely insulting to the millions of small business owners and restaurateurs in America.
That’s right, Metamucil Joe told him to “Pay More.” Why didn’t we think of that Joe? I mean who would have thought that would be so simple, I mean just pay a little more and people would simply stop drawing $4,000 a month to sit home and play Xbox and Playstation.
The President was speaking at a half-empty town hall in Cincinnati when he was asked by Ohio restaurant owner John Lanni how he planned to resolve the labor crisis unfolding across America. Lanni owns the Thunderdome Restaurant Group which has 39 restaurants across the country. He said he, like thousands of others, can’t find staff willing to take restaurant jobs now.
One of the reasons restaurant owners have cited is that people have earned more than ever in unemployment benefits. At the height of the pandemic, people were earning as much as $16-an-hour in COVID payments. Twenty-six states have ended them early to get people back to work and in those states, more people are taking jobs.
Lanni, who says he already pays staff $15-an-hour, said: ‘The entire industry, amongst other industries, continues to struggle to find employees. How do you and the Biden administration plan to incentivize those that haven’t returned to work yet? Hiring is our top priority right now.’
In response, Biden seemed to wipe his hands of the issue, claiming the shortage wasn’t down to increased benefits but people no longer wanting to work in restaurants.
Even if his benefits contributed to the problem, he said they were ending soon.
‘My gut tells me that… there’s a lot of people looking to change their occupation. But I could be wrong. I think it really is a matter of people deciding now that they have opportunities to do other things and there’s a shortage of employees. People are looking to make more money and to bargain.
‘I think your business and the tourist business is really going to be in a bind for a little while. People being seven, $8 an hour plus tips, that’s – I think, John, you’re going to be finding 15 bucks an hour or more now,’ he said.
He then even conceded that the expanded benefits might have contributed to the shortage but said ‘they’re ending now’.
‘Let’s assume it did, but it’s coming to an end,’ the President said.
Lanni said later Biden ‘didn’t answer the question’ and other restaurant owners said the response showed the President does not understand the labor crisis unfolding across his country.
Thanks to our friends at The Daily Mail for contributing to this article.