Northern Michigan Restaurants Face Staffing & Supply Shortages

Restaurants across Michigan have faced many challenges in the past year, but now they’re faced with two new challenges: staffing and supply shortages.

Tracy Bolle has owned The Evening Post Bar and Grill in Clare for 8 years.

This weekend, he decided to close on Mondays, at least temporarily.

He says his staff, which is already stretched thin, could use the break.

“It just got to the point where, a great staff and they’re doing a good job, but we just we’re so short of staff that they’re working six and seven days a week and sooner or later it wears on you,” said Bolle.

But it’s not just staffing, getting food and supplies is also becoming a challenge for restaurant owners like Jim Holton in Mount Pleasant.

“We’ll be closed today, we’ll be closed tomorrow, not normally closed on Tuesdays, we just don’t have the labor force to open up and you’ll start seeing on our menu, I’m sorry we’re not going to have ribs this evening, I’m sorry we’re not going to have beef brisket, because if we can’t get them in, we’re just not going to have them on the menu,” said Holton.

Restaurants say extended unemployment benefits aren’t helping.

“They’ve extended all this stuff through September, so what they’ve done is taken the tourism out of northern Michigan for the summer, if we can’t staff these places, these people aren’t going to come north and wait in line for four hours to get into a restaurant,” said Bolle.

Many restaurants feel they’re left with little choice other than moving forward as best they can.

“I can’t afford to close down right now all the way. I don’t want to lose the people that have been with me through the whole shutdown period, my key staff, and so we need to find a way to make it work,” said Holton.

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Categories: Coronavirus