Kettle Black Kitchen, Workforce Shortage

‘Incredibly difficult’: Statewide workforce shortage challenges Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood restaurants

Business owners struggle to keep doors open as COVID-19 pandemic continues

Kettle Black Kitchen is sandwiched between a coffee shop and a hair salon in the heart of Dudgeon-Monroe. Through the large window at the back of the restaurant, owner Brian Hamilton’s cherry red face is visible as he furiously mops the linoleum floor, a pot of parsnips bubbling on the stove beside him. A “Help Wanted” sign hangs in the front window. Hamilton’s restaurant is not the only Monroe Street establishment searching for staff members. Located just a few blocks away from the UW–Madison campus, the neighborhood’s row of restaurants is peppered with similar signs.