Many Minnesota restaurants are struggling to find enough staff to be open at full capacity. A Champlin couple who were opening a Pizza Ranch franchise had to delay their grand opening two months to fill the labor shortage with teens out of school. Even with the school-age employees, the Pizza Ranch that opened in June still has to close one hour earlier than normal due to the shortages.
According to ABC Newspapers, Randall Hubin, the owner of the franchise said, “You just work more of those hours yourself when you don’t have the people, and it does impact the revenue.” He said he hasn’t gotten seven hours of sleep in a long time. Hubin also said that he has had prospective employees tell him that they would only work for him if he could pay more than what they are receiving on unemployment. During COVID, unemployment checks gained an extra $300 through September for those who qualify and that is making hiring even more difficult.
The Champlin couple aren’t the only ones being impacted by the huge labor shortage. ABC Newspapers also talked to a restaurant called Lucy’s Burgers in Blaine. The president of the company, Robert Scott, said that it got so bad that they only had a total of five kitchen employees. He said that they had to increase the wages from $15 an hour to $20 an hour to get anyone interested in working for them. Scott shared that they are “struggling” with the staffing shortage. “We’re still struggling because the whole kitchen staff is brand new. We’re trying to get them up to speed.”
Other restaurants like 201 Tavern have been forced to limit their menus to cope with the staffing shortages and the rising costs of production. Peter Turok, the president of the Anoka Area Chamber of Commerce, reportedly said that the problem has existed for awhile, but it’s growing exponentially.
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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network and The College Fix. She graduated with a degree in Communications from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Send news tips to [email protected]