Cheesecake Factory invited a law-firm worker to interview for a server role 2 years after he applied, as restaurants struggle for staff in the labor shortage


Cheesecake Factory invited a legal worker for a job interview years after he applied to be a server.
Joseph Guerrero told the WSJ he was initially confused. "I knew I didn’t leave my wallet behind."
Some fast food chains have struggled to find enough workers as customers return to restaurants.
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Cheesecake Factory reportedly invited a law-firm worker for a server job interview two years after ghosting his application – the latest sign of how restaurants are scrambling for workers in a tight labor market.
Joseph Guerrero, a 23-year-old legal case evaluator, told the Wall Street Journal that he was confused when a manager at his local Cheesecake Factory in Arcadia, California, called him out of the blue.
"I knew I didn’t leave my wallet behind," Guerrero told The Journal – he hadn’t visited the restaurant in three years.
"I was like ohhhhh, thank you, but yeah, I found another job," he said. He had applied to a number of restaurants without hearing back, he said.
College student Larisa Stepashkin also told The Journal that Cheesecake Factory contacted her years after she applied for a job there.
Restaurants have struggled to find enough workers to keep up with customer demand, leading some restaurant owners to hike wages and offer sign-on bonuses to entice employees.
Fast food chains McDonald’s, White Castle, and Cracker Barrel have also contacted applicants who applied years previously to fill vacant positions, the Journal reported.
Hiring appears to be picking up: Food services and drinking places added 194,000 jobs in June, accounting for more than half of all job gains in leisure and hospitality industries that month, per Labor Department data.
Dina Barmasse-Gray, Cheesecake Factory’s senior vice president of human resources, said in a statement to the Journal: "The Cheesecake Factory has always engaged new candidates, past applicants and alumni in our recruitment efforts.
"As our dining rooms reopen to full capacity following COVID-19 restrictions and we increase our staffing levels, we have increased our outreach to all potential candidates through various third party job board databases and our own talent network database."
Cheesecake Factory told the Journal that it does not store applicant data for more than three years.
Read more: McDonald’s offers franchisees an olive branch, hoping to ‘reset’ after a years-long civil war
David Brady, a 25-year-old movie theatre manager, told the Journal that multiple companies had reached out in recent weeks about his old job applications.
After McDonald’s sent Brady a text inviting him to interview two years after he had applied, he replied: "I said, you guys ghosted me. You guys weren’t there for me, I’m not going to be there for you," per the Journal.
Some McDonald’s chains have struggled to fill vacant positions, and one franchise owner in Tampa, Florida, previously told Insider that it had paid $50 to people willing to interview.
In May, McDonald’s announced in a press release that it would raise its minimum wage 10% to $11 an hour for entry-level workers, and to $15 an hour for shift managers at its corporate-owned stores.
McDonald’s told The Journal that some of its restaurants were contacting former job applicants, increasing pay or adding hiring incentives.
Cheesecake Factory and McDonald’s did not immediately respond to Insider for comment.
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