Forequarter restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin, has managed to pull off a rare feat. Not only has it has stayed in business for six years, it is also still routinely referred to as trendy. On a recent visit, people were already showing up for dinner by 5:00 p.m. on a weeknight. Business is good, said owner Jonny Hunter, but it could be so much better.
“We’re not open as much as we want to,” he said.
The restaurant is open only for dinner, and it is closed on Sundays. Hunter said he would love to do more, if only he could staff the place.
Like so many employers across the country, the Forequarter is stuck in what experts call the skills gap — businesses unable to fill skilled positions. And make no mistake, Hunter said, working in the kitchen at a gourmet restaurant takes specialized skills.
The skills gap has been around for a while. And lately the skills gap is getting worse, thanks to historically low unemployment — 4 percent nationwide in June. Now it is not just the skilled workers who are in short supply. It is workers, period. In Wisconsin the situation is serious. Unemployment in May hit a new record low of 2.8 percent. That is among the lowest rates in the nation, and it comes before hiring begins at the giant Foxconn plant, now under construction near Racine.
Read more in CNBC.