Employee shortages shoot down Taste of Marietta

A row of narrow storefronts along Marietta Square, directly across from Glover ParkRestaurants and shops along Marietta Square (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

The popular Taste of Marietta festival held yearly on Marietta Square has been postponed this year due to employee shortages among the participating restaurants.

The date of the event has been pushed into next year, to April 24, 2022. The original date was October 24 of this year.

“Taste of Marietta is one of the largest and longest running food festivals in Cobb County. We want to maintain the quality of the festival and ultimately care for our local restaurants,” said Courtney Spiess, Executive Director of the Marietta Visitors Bureau & Welcome Center, in the announcement of the cancellation on the City of Marietta website.“We are hopeful for a successful Taste of Marietta in 2022.”

About the Taste of Marietta

The Taste of Marietta website describes the annual festival as follows:

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Taste of Marietta is an annual food festival always held the last Sunday in April that showcases Cobb County restaurants and caterers. It is one of the largest and longest running food festival in Atlanta metro and has become a favorite annual tradition among local residents and visitors.

According to event organizers the festival typically attracts 70,000 visitors, and “around 70+ different restaurants, caterers, and food trucks showcase their best dishes at Taste of Marietta each year.”

The labor shortage

The employee shortage among restaurants in Marietta is unique to neither Marietta nor the restaurant industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between June of 2020 and June of 2021 the number of unemployed workers per job opening dropped from five to 0.9.

The trend as been nationwide.

According to the National Restaurant Association mid-year update, “3 in 4 operators say recruitment and retention is their toughest challenge despite employment gains.”

About the City of Marietta

The City of Marietta is the county seat of Cobb County. The latest estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau puts the population of the city at 60,867 which makes it the largest city in Cobb County by population.

However, the city is in a neck-and-neck race with fast-growing Smyrna, whose population was 56,666 at the last estimate.

Here are a few fast facts from the Census Bureau

Marietta city, Georgia

2019 Population Estimates

60,867

Source: Vintage 2019 Population Estimates

Median Household Income

$ 57,452

Source: 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Persons in poverty, percent

14.0 %

Source: 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Educational Attainment: Percent high school graduate or higher

87.7 %

Source: 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Persons without health insurance, percent

18.1 %

Source: 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Median Housing Value

$ 287,600

Source: 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Total Housing Units

26,878

Source: 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Number of Firms

10,501

Source: 2012 Survey of Business Owners: Company Summary

Male Median Income

$ 36,894

Source: 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Female Median Income

$ 29,239

Source: 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Veterans

3,132

Source: 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

Percent of households with a broadband Internet subscription

84.9 %

Source: 2015-2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates

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