Ice cream shops in need of more summer workers

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The City of Sioux Falls says the shortage of summer lifeguards could delay the opening of some outdoor pools.  It’s just one of many seasonal summer industries struggling to get enough workers: your sweet summer treats could also see an impact.

“When we open, we are busy,” Brandon, Sycamore Avenue and Harrisburg B&G Milkyway owner Kasey Iverson said. 

Customers are already flooding back into ice cream shops in KELOLAND this spring.

“This year I think we’re busier than what we have been in the past, so we’re looking to hire more,” Sioux Falls Minnesota Avenue Dairy Queen General Manager Jill Willard said.

Every spring local ice cream shops look to hire at least a dozen additional staff members.

“We try to have at least 25 employees on the payroll at each store,” Iverson said. “We need plenty of employees to piece the schedule together.”

Their usual summer staff is busy high school and college students.

“Our employees are very involved with school and activities, football, marching band, dance, so we just kind of have to piece it together,” Iverson said. 

“We’re really flexible on working around their activities,” Willard said. 

But after 30 years of managing at Dairy Queen, Willard says right now, finding any extra help is even more challenging than usual.

“It’s been quite a bit harder,” Willard said. “We’re trying different things, we have online applications, in-store applications, walk-in interviews daily from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., just to try to find people.”

Without some extra hands this summer, it could take even longer to get your favorite treat ready and out the door.

“When we don’t find enough people, our speed of service and that part suffers, employees also end up working more hours,” Willard said. 

Even owners like Kasey Iverson are stepping in to help serve customers.

“Just filling in here for day shift,” Iverson said of his Brandon store. “Just a few days ago I did an open and a closing shift.”

These managers are adding incentives to get in some dependable help.

“We gave them a raise at the end of last year and we’re going to be bumping them up again just to show them that they’re valuable here and just to keep them around,” Iverson said. 

“They get extra pay on holidays, food discounts, we’re flexible with their schedules and it’s a fun place to work,” Willard said. 

Hoping the summer fun will sweeten the deal for students who have plenty of options for a job. 

“I think everyone around town, you drive around and everyone’s got it on their signs, trying in some way to hire,” Willard said. 

Iverson is opening a new store in Harrisburg next month, so summer year he’s in need of even more workers than usual. You can apply at an area B&G Milky way here.

You can apply for a position at a Sioux Falls Dairy Queen here.

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