SAN FRANCISCO—Local restaurants in San Francisco are reporting that they are struggling to find employees even after some COVID-19 mandates have been lifted.

Restaurant owners have offered a $1,000 bonus to any employee who refers a successful hire, two weeks paid vacation time, a bonus for employees who stay for a year, and free dinner to any employee who shows up to each scheduled shift. Some owners are now offering $38 to $50 an hour for open positions.

Restaurant owners have stated that people “simply aren’t applying for restaurant jobs

Scott Chillcut, managing partner of the Moroccan restaurant Aziza, told CBS San Francisco in an interview, “It’s been a slow trickle. It definitely wasn’t like the floodgates opened and people were running back to work. We had seen some movement and again we’ve really kind of gone outside the box and taken some people back in and we have a high schooler working here – that normally doesn’t happen so – we got to get a little creative.”

The restaurant owner of John’s Grill, John Konstin Jr., told KRON4, “We’ve called a lot of the people from our original team to ask if they’d like to come back and fill the position that opens up. We found a lot of people have actually left San Francisco and a lot of people are still hesitant given that coronavirus is still amongst us.”

Reports indicate that restaurants cannot run their business at certain times of the day and that some businesses who used to be open 7 days a week are open only for 5 days due to the worker shortage.