Now hiring: Busy beach businesses look to bounce back from pandemic closures

Take a quick drive down Gulf Boulevard in Pinellas County and you’ll see a lot of "Help Wanted" signs.

The Tampa Bay Beaches Chamber of Commerce says spring break season has brought about an overwhelming hiring need.

"We are hiring all the way from Pass-A-Grille up to Clearwater Beach," said Robin Miller, who heads the chamber.

It’s a far cry from last year at this time, when the outbreak of COVID-19 saw nearly immediate closures.

Miller says it’s nearly every job under the hospitality umbrella.

"Servers, bartenders, line cooks, valet, parking attendants, housekeepers, front desks, everything," she listed.

Suzanne Brown’s new pizza restaurant, Slyce, is one of many businesses offering incentives.

"Just to get people to stay for months and months to come," she said.  "We’ve offered incentives that involve gift cards at 30, 60 and 90 days, and we hope that people would stay much longer than that."

Plans to open this third Slyce location were stalled due to COVID – and she says until they can hire a staff, it’ll stay that way.

"We’re looking to hire 60 to 70, anywhere from kitchen positions to pizza cook and more," she said.

Miller says it’s not just the spring break crowds creating the need.

"We’re always in a hiring momentum with seasonality as we peak in March," Miller said. "However, we have a beautiful destination, and we’re open. People want to come here and visit, and have a safe, wonderful experience, so we need to keep adding to our workforce."

And they plan on making it easier with a job fair, scheduled for Monday and Tuesday of next week. Details are below:

  • Monday, March 8 – St. Pete Beach Community Center – 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Monday, March 8 – Madeira Beach City Hall – 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, March 10 – St. Pete Beach Community Center – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 
  • Wednesday, March 10 – Madeira Beach City Hall – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.