Dayton restaurant offers ‘pandemic pay’ to attract new employees and thank those that toughed it out

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – A Dayton bar and restaurant is upping its offer to attract more employees.

Lock 27 Brewing anticipates a busy summer and says they’re ready to serve but they need enough staff to do it. A program that provides bonus pay during the pandemic could help.

Colin Barnhart of Lock 27 Brewing said, “We’re trying to get back to the point where we’re not overloaded. We’re really busy on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and it’s a mad house.”

Colin Barnhart said the biggest struggle at Lock 27 Brewing is not attracting business, it’s attracting staff to keep up with the rush. To try and bring in new people, the restaurant is offering a $4 an hour pandemic bonus for current and future kitchen staff.

Colin said, “Thankfully after the year it’s been, we started to see business come back which has allowed us to be a bit more free with how we can give back to our employees who stuck with us.”

The program will run through October.

Barnhart said the bonus is a thank you to the people who stuck with them through difficult times. Colin said other Miami Valley bars and restaurants are also working on creative ways to boost staffing. “It’s training, it’s getting everybody back up to speed, and you’re seeing it everywhere. Different places having to close early, having fewer menu items. Just because staffing is so tough right now,” said Collin.

Barnhart said the restaurant is ready for a fun, different summer this year with the return of Dragons baseball, a new patio, live music, and trivia. “I think everybody realizes what kind of struggles we went through, what we’re still going through getting back on our feet. And for the most part people are very understanding and open, and just happy to be back out,” Collin said.

Collin thinks it will still take a while for the industry to get back to normal, but they want to be ready as soon as possible. “We’re ready for the noise, the traffic, all that kind of stuff. Just good for Dayton to grow again.”

Lock 27 said the open kitchen positions pay between $10 and $18 an hour before the bonus kicks in. People can apply in person or online.

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