CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Carolina Ale House in Cary has been busy and things are about to get busier.
"Summer is where we have a lot of our business," said General Manager Mark Brunelli.
But like many industries, the restaurant business is also caught in the middle of a tight labor market.
"It's been a lot more difficult after COVID. Obviously, people are working from home now they're finding jobs with other bigger companies," he said.
ABC11 sat down with Brunelli on Monday when he said they're hiring teens this summer to help. He explained the benefits.
"From a parent's standpoint, they want them out of the house, of course, but I think the kids, they want to make some money. They want to be in an environment where they can just work with people they know," Brunelli said. "And just people their own age, high school kids are great. We can teach them skills."
The GM, who has already hired a few college students this summer, said because there's such a hiring crunch, teens are in higher demand and have more options on where they would like to work.
Keith Alderman agreed. The 18-year-old, who works at a smoothie shop in Cary, said there are more opportunities now for teens beyond the typical summer jobs such as lifeguards or working at an amusement park.
"I see it all the time. A lot of places are hiring," Alderman said.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 55% of young people were employed last summer and experts say they believe that number will increase this summer with more opportunities available.
"I do believe that there are more kids my age getting jobs," Alderman said. "I mean, you don't really see a lot around the private schools, stuff like that. But in public school, I feel like just about everyone I know has a job. Even if they just got it. They still have a job."
Meanwhile, Brunelli is always working to fill positions.
"We're never done hiring," he said. "We're always looking for great people."