Service Jobs Hard to Fill in Fast-Growing Frisco

High cost of living exceeds the wages those in restaurant industry can pay

Before the Mezcal Taco Lounge opens for business next month between the Dallas North Tollway and FC Dallas’ Toyota Stadium in Frisco, the owner will have to hire about 15 employees.

Some of those workers will likely be drawn from a roster of previous employees of a market in McKinney that Hector Meza owned until last year. But the rest, he said, will likely come from traditional ‘Help Wanted’ ads. Unless, of course, a recent trend in Collin County holds true.

“Everybody is talking about the same thing," Meza said. "I believe we [in the restaurant business] all agree that finding workers is difficult.”

Meza said he has previously run restaurants in other cities in North Texas and in California, and that finding quality employees is always a difficult task. But complicating matters in Collin County is the rising cost of living.

This week, NBC DFW reported that Frisco appears to have the third highest average monthly rent — $1,323 per month — for an apartment in Dallas-Fort Worth. The difficulty becomes that employers in the service industry cannot typically afford to pay a wage that would allow their employees to actually live in fast-growing cities like Frisco and McKinney, Meza said.

A recent article from Community Impact quoted Tony Felker, the Frisco Chamber of Commerce president, as saying he has witnessed this phenomenon all around town.

“You can’t go to a restaurant anywhere in town without ‘Hiring Now’ signs,” Felker told that publication.

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