Service Workers in Demand this New Year

California caterers can’t find enough workers to New Year's Eve demands

Wanted: bartenders, Disc Jockeys and waitresses to work on the biggest party night of the year. It’s an ad that isn’t attracting attention, and is causing problems for people trying to give New Year’s Eve parties in California.

Party planners are swamped with requests for their services but can’t meet the demands because they can’t find enough workers. Some employees are demanding five times their normal pay to pull a New Year’s Eve shift. Other workers don’t care how much they can make they don’t want to work on December 31.

To ensure they have New Year's Eve workers to keep up with the New Year parties many caterers are bumping wages, raising their rates and limiting the number of jobs they’ll accept. Workers who would normally make &75 to $150 for a six-hour shift will make an average of $400 to $600 this New Year’s eve.

"If you know anyone who’s ever worked in the business, now is the time for them to dust off their black-and-whites and get back out there, because there’s money to be made," Peter Lydon, manager of Posh Parties & Special Events told the Los Angeles Times.

One Hermosa Beach catering service, Total Success Event Services, is getting 10 calls a day from individuals looking for caterers but the owner has to turn down the business because he can’t find the workers and doesn’t want to make promises he can’t keep. President Rich Fuson has a roster of about 600 servers, bartenders and culinary employees but has been struggling to get them to work this New Year. Fuson has found only 250 of them willing to work, which means he has to keep his parties at a minimum this New Year’s Eve.

It’s not just waitresses and service people who are looking to make more money this year.

Disc jockeys and bands have also dramatically increased their rates. DJs who make about $500 to $750 on an average Saturday night- and who usually get $1,000 to $1,500 on the typical New Year’s Eve—are demanding up to $3,500