Business & economy

Businesses in Malheur County grapple with sudden, acute labor shortage

Cindy Lynch of Brewsky’s Broiler in Ontario talks about the struggle to find employees even as business is rebounding. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell).

ONTARIO – At Brewsky’s Broiler in Ontario, business is on a solid upswing.

In Vale, Mal’s Diner routinely reaches its state-mandated Covid capacity for customers.

As fewer Covid restrictions pay off for local restaurants with more customers, a tight local labor pool threatens to put a crimp in the modest boom.

Finding employees is a serious issue for many restaurant owners during the past four weeks and now has reached a critical mass.

 “I have gone from selecting the right candidate to hire to this year begging anyone to apply,” said Malinda Castleberry, owner of Mal’s.

Kathy Saldana, owner of A Street Tavern . . .