On Wednesday night, during President Joe Biden’s Town Hall event, Biden suggested that business owners pay employees more to incentivize said workers to come back to work after a restaurant owner asked him how the administration will address the struggles they are facing.
"We employ hundreds of hard-working team members throughout the state of Ohio and across the country, and we’re looking to hire more every day as we try to restart our restaurant business," said John Lanni, who CNN lists as being the owner and co-founder of a restaurant group.
"The entire industry, amongst other industries, continue to struggle to find employees. How do you and the Biden administration plan to incentivize those that haven't returned to work yet? Hiring is our top priority right now."
Biden responds first with a pat on the back on his own back at how the administration spent money to keep the restaurant industry moving, and then by suggesting that these restaurant workers are looking for better opportunities and better pay elsewhere.
"Two things. One, you notice, we kept you open. We spent billions of dollars to make sure restaurants can stay open," said Biden. "And a lot of people who now, who work as waiters and waitresses, decided that they don't want to do that anymore because there's other opportunities and higher wages because there's a lot of openings now in jobs. And people are beginning to move."
"There's some evidence that maintaining the ability to continue to not have to pay your rent so you don't get thrown out, being able to provide for unemployment insurance has kept people from going back to work," he continued. "There's not much distinction between not going back to work in a restaurant and not going back to work at a factory."
"So people are looking to change opportunities, change what they're doing," Biden added.
Biden then applauded Lanni for working in the restaurant business, adding that "my deceased wife’s father-in-law was a restauranteur up in Syracuse, New York," and that he was offered the business in which he would make "five times what I would in law school," but turned it down due to seeing the constant calls he would receive when things were going wrong in the restaurant.
"God love you," Biden told Lanni.
"All kidding aside, I think it really is a matter of people deciding now that they have opportunities to do other things," Biden concluded.
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