At Chill Sports Bar and Grill in Historic Downtown Grapevine, the kitchen staff trained to churn out meals for the bar, dinner theater next door and catering service are highly valued.
"There's a lot of competition for the great kitchen guys, and so we pay them top dollar here to keep them," said business operations manager Julia Sizemore.
They are also tough to replace. When it comes time to hire for kitchen or wait staff, Sizemore said it's tough to find good employees.
And as the president for Grapevine's Historic Downtown Association, she knows she's not alone.
"That's the number one thing the board and myself hears is, 'Gah. We've got to get some people. We need people,'" Sizemore said.
The director of research at TransWestern, Ryan Tharp, points to a combination of low unemployment and high housing costs, especially in Dallas-Fort Worth's hottest suburbs.
"We're arguably at or near full employment right now," Tharp said.
In October, unemployment was said to be at 3.7 percent. Tharp said that increases competition for jobs like those in the service industry that come with a highly transferable skill set.
That becomes even more of a challenge for employers looking to pull labor from a farther geographic distance, which Tharp said has happened in communities where housing prices have risen, pushing people out.
"That's one of the reasons it's important to have a good mix of housing pricing in your community," he said.
To combat hiring challenges, Chill has significantly increased wages over the last several years.
Sizemore also hoped a new mode of transportation will help her and her fellow downtown business managers attract high quality employees.
"With TEXRail going in across the street, we now have a wonderful opportunity to get help and employees from Fort Worth, Mid-Cities that can hop on and ride for $2.50, $5 roundtrip," she said.
She believed that's a cost many business owners would be willing to subsidize to bring in a bigger applicant pool for the jobs they're looking to fill.