A restaurant in Tennessee closed its kitchen due to a mix of COVID-19, inflation, and understaffing.
The restaurant had already slashed its opening hours while looking to hire day shifts.
“We kept losing most of our staff,” Go Burrito!’s owner told News Channel 11.
Go Burrito! said on Monday that its kitchen had shut but that its rum bar, and a sushi bar with separate management, both located within its site, would stay open.
In a Facebook post, Go Burrito! said it “will not continue with the kitchen side of Go Burrito! Johnson City.” It said that the business had been impacted by the “Delta variant and labor shortages with inflation.”
Go Burrito! operates two other sites, both in North Carolina.
“We were either breaking even or doing a little bit better week to week, but starting in August, I really think between the Delta variant and the labor shortage, we kept losing most of our staff, and as the volume went down, it got harder and harder for me to compete with other businesses for pay,” Douglas Carroll, the restaurant’s owner, told News Channel 11.
Carroll said that the company had to lay off 10 people working in the restaurant’s kitchen. He said that he was looking for a tenant to take over the kitchen.
Go Burrito! didn’t say why it had cut its hours, but Carroll commented on a Facebook post about the adjusted opening times, saying: “We continue to try to hire for day shifts. If you know anyone reliable that will show up for scheduled interviews and first day we would love to have them apply.”
The US is suffering from a labor shortage as record numbers of Americans quit their jobs in search of better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Restaurants have been especially hard-hit, with their staff also citing long and unsocial working hours, rude customers, and fears of catching COVID-19.
As well as restaurants being unable to hire enough servers, cooks, and dishwashers, transportation and freight companies have struggled to find truck drivers, too. This has wrought havoc across the supply chain and led to delays, shortages, and soaring prices. Chains including Starbucks, Subway, and Wendy’s have been hit by product shortages.
But for some restaurants, the confluence of labor shortages and soaring ingredients costs, coupled with rising cases of the coronavirus deterring diners’ confidence and causing waves of lockdowns, has been too much. A 46-year-old Italian restaurant in St. Louis, a 35-year-old BBQ restaurant in Florida, and a taco restaurant in Texas have all permanently shuttered, too, with their owners blaming it on their staffing shortage.
Got a story about the labor shortage? Email this reporter at [email protected].
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