Faced with a dramatic shortage of restaurant, hotel, and banquet employees Chicago’s North Shore Convention & Visitors Bureau has created new online job board, with information about some 50 employers in and around Evanston who are looking to hire right now.
CNSCVB Executive Director Gina Speckman says the response to northshorejobboard.com so far has been excellent.
And many of the employers have more than one position available. For example, the Evanston-based caterer, Feast and Imbibe, lists “cooks, servers, event help, food truck drivers, delivery drivers, warehouse associates, line cooks, and pastry Chef” as open jobs.
As coronavirus restrictions ease, it is likely that even more positions will open up, as restaurants and event venues see more customers and guests allowed indoors.
Speckman says with Illinois moving to the “Bridge Phase” on Friday, and possibly to Phase 5 full reopening on June 11, the demand for spaces and for employees to staff them will probably keep increasing.
In fact, she says, “planners are calling.”
“That being said,” Speckman adds, “to have a large wedding or event, you probably need to plan further out than a few weeks or months. So most inquiries are for Fall/Winter 2021 or 2022.”
The bureau has also joined with eight other similar agencies in the region to encourage local travel. The Visit Chicagoland campaign’s theme is “All That’s Missing is You,” and focuses on attractions and businesses within one hour’s drive.
One hotel which will apparently not be hiring anyone soon nor welcoming guests is the Hilton Orrington in Evanston. The financially troubled hotel has been closed since late last year.
The Hilton corporate website had been accepting reservations for the Orrington effective today, May 10. But a check of that site now says the “Orrington” is sold out on the 10th. That is not true, however, as the hotel remains closed, with an “operations temporarily suspended” sign still on the window.
A random check of other dates in May and June also comes up with the “sold out” message.
No one answers the phone at the Orrington, and an emailed question about the hotel’s tentative reopening has not led to any response.