Facing pervasive labor shortages, many hospitality employers in Florida are paying big bucks to recruit employees from as far away as Brazil and Romania. Recent examples:
The Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota seized an opportunity to bring in 30 Brazilian students to work through the busy winter season.
Hyatt Hotels has turned to a vendor that provides Europeans for six-month stints.
The Meadows Country Club in Sarasota has been recruiting help from Romania and South Africa for three years to work in food and beverage services.
The cost: roughly $4,000 per employee for advertising, legal fees, visas and plane tickets.
The Holiday Inn on Lido Key plans to hire 15 to 20 Jamaican workers this season.
Bottom line: “I feel like I get better people,” says Doug Domino, The Meadows’ general manager.