Restaurants Struggle to Find Staff, Forced to Close On Normally Busy Days

Restaurants are having to close on days they would normally be open because of staff shortages.

“We have the ability to do the business in regard to showing up to eat here, but unfortunately, I don’t have the staff to feed them,” says David Hritcu, manager of Timbers Steaks and Seafood Ludington.

Hritcusays the restaurant is struggling to find employees: “Small businesses are folding left and right around the state and around county, unfortunate our reason is not because of lack of business, we have the business, it’s lack of staffing.”

Hritcu says normally, they would be serving 200 people today for lunch. With no one available to work, tables remain empty.

“We did close yesterday, that was the first time because of staffing issues, but now that the college kids have gone back to school it’s another vacuum that we’re facing because of the lack of employees,” says Hritcu.

Dan Sturgis, owner of the Pepper Mill in Gladwin, says he’s had to take off work from his full time job as an EMS in order to keep his restaurant open.

“It’s just hard, it’s been really hard, and it’s been a one man show for a while now and I can’t do it anymore, I need help,” says Sturgis.

He says the higher unemployment benefits is keeping people from looking for a job.

Sturgis says, “We’ve been playing hell trying to get employees back since day one. I know a lot of it, i feel, was done unjustly as far as the unemployment goes.”

Now, Hritcu and Sturgis say it’s an ongoing battle in order to keep the staff they do have.

Hritcu says, “I’ve got a great staff and my biggest fear right now is running them too hard to they just quit because they can’t handle it.”