Traverse City Restaurants Chronically Understaffed; Hours Shift Due to Low Manpower
Even in a year where thousands have been put out of work, eateries can’t seem to find enough people to help them out. It’s been that way for months.
Twice a week, the Filling Station goes dark, but not by choice.
“We’re closed on Tuesday and Wednesday and that’s only because we have a lack of staff, there is not another reason for that,” said general manager Todd Klepper. “I could easily hire ten to twelve people.”
Klepper says many of his staff have gone back to school and others are concerned about working with the public during this pandemic.
The Filling Station is not the only place in town who needs more people.
At Firefly Restaurant, the lack of help meant they had to limit their nighttime hours during the peak summer season. Even this fall, it’s been a constant effort to try to get more people in.
“I had three interviews yesterday, I’ve got three interviews today. So, just when you think you’re comfortable and you’re, you’re, you’re doing good you really can’t trust it,” said general manager Travis Baird. “We’ve simplified our menu, you know, we’ve cut down the number of options so to get somebody in here and train them is, is a little bit easier of a process.”
At Amical, even when they could open their doors, they didn’t necessarily have the manpower to do it.
“We started at five nights a week and that was strictly based on staffing. We were missing people. There was a lot of unknowns,” said general manager Jeff Lipman. “That’s been the tricky part, finding people wanting to work.”
Right now, Amical is running for dinner service only.
But Lipman is optimistic about what’s to come, and he’s thankful for the dedicated staff.
“The demand’s there, the phone’s ringing…there were some really great people who made it all worthwhile and we’ve been trying to focus on that,” he said.