The Killabrew Saloon is expecting business to pick up now that the midnight dining curfew has been lifted, but until they’re able to hire more employees, the late night menu options might not be what they used to be. Owner Michael Volz thinks he’s going to have a hard time getting qualified employees until the government changes their approach to unemployment.
"Now that we’re kind of over this little hump of the pandemic with the cases and stuff like that. I think it’s safer for people to be out. I think it’s safer for people to go back to work, so I think they need to find more incentives for them to go back to work as opposed to staying home."
Some restaurant workers say they can’t blame people for staying home and collecting more money on unemployment than they can working, but it's taking a toll on those who are working.
"For a lot of my staff it means longer hours, extra hours. We’re spreading them kind of thin on the ones that are qualified for certain positions. I’m asking a lot more of them, and I’ve been fortunate enough that they’ve helped me out through all this, but at some point we definitely need some extra help coming in."
Tony’s Pizzeria Owner BJ Evans says much of his employee base is family, and as hard as it is on them, he doesn’t want to overwork the help he does have.
"We try not to max them out. We try to like get them those 2 days off straight, and then make a good run for 5 days for the weekend and stuff like that. It’s been hard. It’s been hard on certain people, and trying to not overuse them."
Just about every restaurant that is having trouble finding help has also had one positive thing to say about things getting back to normal.
"I’m just grateful that it’s been busy. It could be the other way where it’s very slow and we don’t have the business and we’re not hiring because we’re slow. Luckily that’s not the case. We’re super busy and looking forward to getting help."