Irish fast-food chain Supermacs is recruiting workers from overseas due to a shortage of Irish applicants.
CEO Pat McDonagh says the pandemic means a lot of people have left certain sectors.
He believes this is common across all areas, not just hospitality.
But he told Newstalk Breakfast there are plenty of workers from places such as Spain and Italy who want to work here.
"It's common in a lot of industries at the moment that there's a scarcity of staff out there.
"It's right across the board - whether it's in construction, whether it's in hospitality, or whether it's in retail.
"In hospitality especially... it's become a very uncertain type of business - it's a difficult business because the hours are unsociable, the work is hard and a lot of people have reassessed where they are.
"I think 40%, I'd say, or more have changed jobs inside the last two years from that industry to a more regular business.
"I think you have to fill the positions, and if you can't fill them in Ireland there will be eastern Europeans or - in fact - Italy and Spain at the moment are where we're getting quite a few.
"So there are quite a lot coming in from abroad and that's just the way it was. It happened before back in 2004, etc and it's a repeat of the same thing".
'PUP overran in some cases'
But Mr McDonagh says other factors are at play here as well.
"Some people are very conscious about the COVID, and other people - as I say - have reassessed where they are.
"A lot of chefs have gone into sales jobs for food companies, etc.
"And customers have got a little bit more impatient and a little bit more irritable as well."
And he believes the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) may also be contributing to the shortage.
"I think the PUP... it was a great idea in fact, and the Government did a very good job initially starting it off.
"I think it probably in some cases overran... but it's not necessarily the problem at the minute.
"Granted there are a lot of people who've gone back to eastern Europe and Asia, etc who are probably still on the PUP."
And he says he can see a lot of businesses selling up because of all the issues.
"I can see... at least 20% of business changing hands inside the next couple of years, because owners are finding it very difficult."