Indian food restaurant chain hiring teens with added incentives to keep business running

Teens filling positions amid ongoing staff shortage

Curry Up Now CEO and founder Akash Kapoor on how he is navigating the labor shortage across the U.S.

Akash Kapoor, the owner and founder of Curry Up Now is hiring teenagers with added incentives as he and many employers in the food industry struggle to stay afloat during the labor shortage.

The restaurant chain owner is exploring ways to become a priority within his young staff’s lives as they both manage to find a balance between their active schedules and new work responsibilities. 

"You've got to be very understanding to their schedules more than we are with somebody who's older," he told FOX Business’ Ashley Webster on "Varney & Co." Thursday.

Kapoor discussed the importance of incentives in order to maintain his staff, adding that for some of his employees, this is their first work experience.

"You know, we pay $2 over minimum [wage]. We've got some mentoring programs for them. We've got, you know, just some finance management programs," he said.

With his new staff being the dominating demographic on social media platforms, the Indian cuisine restauranteur has seen an added benefit from hiring teenagers.

"They're not just working, but they also become fans of the food, you know, and the other social aspect of it is they post on snap on Snapchat or on TikTok or, you know, the two platforms that they mostly use about our food, about our restaurants more than more than any other employee we've ever seen."


Curry Up Now is not the only restaurant experiencing a drastic drop in unemployment. The food industry has been heavily impacted by the staff shortage and weekly unemployment benefits that began as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data released by the Labor Department Thursday showed 373,000 Americans filed for first-time jobless benefits in the week ended July 3, which is up from an upwardly revised 371,000 filings the week prior.


Kapoor told the FOX Business host that he "can’t wait" for the unemployment benefits to end, as they have inflicted a devastating blow to his business. 

"We've got problems in about 70 percent of our restaurants, and it's getting worse," he pointed out.

FOX Business’ Jonathan Garber contributed to this report

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