Restaurants work to manage Valentine’s Day rush

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Restaurants have been slammed with customers on Monday (2/14/22) for Valentine’s Day.

As they deal with worker shortages, restaurant owners are doing their best to manage the rush.

At Salvatore’s Fresh Ristorante Italiano in Ozark, Owner Daniel Oawster said staff members are working extra hours this week for the holiday.

“This week I’m working seven days,” Oawster said. “Normally I’d get a day off. Valentine’s Day is a special event, so that gives me no break for this week.”

At the restaurant, you’ll find Daniel working alongside his mom and sister.

Daniel said his family came to help the restaurant as they struggle with worker shortages.

“I wish we had more workers,” said prep cook and Daniel’s mom, Cynthia Oawster. “I wanna get out of the kitchen. I don’t mind doing prep, but I’m 66 years old. I don’t have any business being in the kitchen, but I do the best I can.”

Cynthia said her help is needed, especially as they serve more customers around Valentine’s Day.

“We were packed this weekend,” said Cynthia. “I mean Saturday was packed, just constantly.”

For those coming out to celebrate anywhere this week, Daniel encourages people to be patient with restaurants. 

“It’s nice to keep in mind that the staff is a person just like you,” said Daniel. “They’re doing everything they can to make you happy.”

He said at the end of the day when they’ve made it through the rush it’s a big accomplishment.

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