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  • Writer's pictureNick Andriacchi

Labor is Hard to Find - Price It Accordingly

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

During a recent discussion with a good friend of mine, economist Dr. Frances Li, professor at Loyola University, made a proclamation. “Price is the most efficient way to balance supply and demand and the free-market place is the best conduit to determine what gets produced and for what price.” Demand encourages supply and price ensures that a product is produced and available for those who want it.





Think about the toilet paper shortage at the onset of the pandemic. TP was way in demand and retailers really didn’t raise the price enough which caused major shortages. Looking back, they should have raised prices to the point where consumers would horde less so those that truly needed it could buy it.


With labor in such short supply, smart employers should be willing (even if reluctantly) to raise wages to attract quality employees. That extra money invested in human capital will allow the employer to produce more product which will more than offset the additional labor cost. More product and services will eventually help tame inflation (but that is for another discussion). Staffers are best equipped to supply that labor.


This reminds of a 4th of July story from my days as a purveyor of fine meat.


Baby-back ribs are a very popular grilling item for 4th of July back-yard BBQ’’s. We always started the day with hundreds of pounds of this fine item but as the day progressed – supply runs short. As supplies run down, I would raise the price because of the high demand. That particular year, I raised the price the over $1 a pound - same day.


Right before closing, a customer walked in and asked if we had any ribs left. I told him yes then warned him that they were pricey. To my surprise – he didn’t care what the price was, he was super happy we had product. He said he had been to five other stores and they were sold out.


The take-away is that a low price doesn’t matter much if your business can’t deliver a quality product that is in short supply.


Staffers, the labor shortage is real and in order to supply quality labor – customers have to be willing to pay the employee more and fairly compensate the staffing firm for ability to find them. In the end, they will appreciate and profit from your guidance and expertise.


And now for some rib cooking advice! Oven bake before grilling.


Most of us are decent grillers – but back ribs are tough to chew if they are cooked too fast at too high a of temperature. Without a smoker, ribs are tricky grill properly.

Instead of standing at the grill, try baking them in the oven first. It could not be easier and this will also free up time to do something else.

Here is the process:


1. Remove the membrane from the bone side of the rib – very important as this ensures fall-off-the-bone ribs.

2. Generously season both sides with salt and pepper and your favorite rub,

3. Tightly cover the ribs with aluminum foil.

4. Bake the ribs at a low temperature (275F) for 3 to 4 hours or until they are tender.

5. Brush baked ribs with barbecue sauce then grill the ribs for a few minutes until the sauce is caramelized.

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