What's on Tap

What's on Tap

Staffing challenges prompt some local restaurants to cut hours

Posted November 4, 2021 5:28 p.m. EDT
Updated November 5, 2021 9:38 a.m. EDT

— Local restaurants are taking extreme measures to stay afloat amid a staffing shortage, including closing during what would normally be considered peak hours.

The challenges they're facing have not changed much since federal unemployment benefits ended in September.

The owner of Peak on Salem in Apex said while they’ve managed to stay open 7 days a week, something needs to change soon.

Much of the restaurant’s staff has been working doubles through the pandemic.

“I’m scared to death if it doesn’t change soon. They can’t continue to do this,” said Peak on Salem owner David Burrell.

Burrell said at times, employees have had to turn away around 40 clients on their busiest day due to the staff shortage.

At one point, Burrell had 52 job applicants, but only three showed up for an interview.

“I’m not sure where they are,” he said. “There seems to be a lot of job openings. I’m not sure where the help is.”

Apex Wings employees said they closed Monday because of a staffing shortage.

In August, Sola Coffee Café in Raleigh announced they would be closed every Monday to get kitchen staff a break.

“I have two to three cooks. We’re looking roughly for two more potentially as we go into busy season,” said Peak on Salem executive chef Cedrick Corbin Bailey.

Bailey said he believes the family environment and sacrifices of the team kept the restaurant open seven days a week.

“We’ve been working our butts off every day. We’re here to make you all some great food and we put our blood, sweat and tears into every dish that we make,” he added.

As customers slowly return to restaurants, Burrell said it’s the employees that are much needed.

“I think the beauty through all of this [is] we see the good in people. Our customers, they have no problem complimenting us and others on the street for being opening and understanding what the servers are going through working double shifts,” he said.

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