Some restaurants in Sebastian are still facing worker shortages and are cutting hours of operation in the middle of the season. It’s been a problem that has plagued businesses since the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you want a quick bite to eat from one of the fast-food chains, forget it. Some will warn you about potential delays due to work shortages before taking your order in the drive-thru. The food service is still struggling to retain workers.
The problems have forced some restaurants to cut daytime operations, limiting their hours to serving only dinner. One of those businesses is Sebastian’s Roadside Restaurant, reducing their hours to 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It’s not something they wanted to do during the season.
“I have been unable to hire enough employees to staff both lunch and dinner service. So, we are moving to dinner only,” Thomas Wright, owner of Sebastian Roadside Restaurant, told Sebastian Daily.
However, Wright remains optimistic and is excited about the new direction.
Not long ago, Sandy’s Grille cut back its hours of operation after a shortage of cooks, a problem most restaurants are going through. As a result, it has been challenging to find kitchen help and servers.
There’s also a high turnover of servers at most places along Indian River Drive. And even when they hire enough help, they get overwhelmed by the number of patrons during the busy season causing slower service.
Many patrons have blamed it on poor service or the restaurant for not hiring enough help. But it’s not their fault. Trust me, the owners and staff are just as frustrated. There is higher demand than workers, and it is getting worse with the season in full swing.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the pandemic caused a significant disruption in the labor force. They called it The Great Resignation, which caused business owners to increase wages and offer bonuses as an incentive dubbed The Great Reshuffle.
Some employers must still attract and retain talent through flexible scheduling and more pay. Many workers in the service industry are seeing a big chunk of their earnings going to childcare for their children.
Higher pay for workers also means higher prices for customers, and the rise in inflation doesn’t help either, as many restaurants are paying quite a bit more for food and supplies.
So, please be patient with your servers and tip. Sometimes they are overwhelmed at no fault of their own.