May 26, 2024


The Food community

A Tennessee burrito restaurant closed down its kitchen due to labor shortages, inflation, and the pandemic

3 min read
Restaurant server wipes down table at P.J. Whelihan's restaurant and pub in Spring Township Friday evening June 25, 2021

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.Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

  • 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.

A burrito restaurant in Johnson City, Tennessee closed down its kitchen due to a mix of COVID-19, rising costs, and understaffing.

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.

The site had also temporarily cut its opening hours, closing on Mondays and opening at 4 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday and 12 p.m. from Friday to Sunday. It previously opened at 11 a.m. every day.

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.

Some restaurants have coped with the rising supply and labor costs by hiking up menu prices. One chicken restaurant in Pennsylvania has raised its prices every month since May.

Restaurants have been slashing their opening hours and closing their dining rooms because of a lack of staff, too.

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].

Read the original article on Business Insider | Newsphere by AF themes.