MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A critical staffing shortage for many Mobile restaurants is forcing them to cut back hours of operation.
Sunday, Loda Biergarten had to close their West Mobile location due to not having enough people to work. With the mask mandate lifted, more people are out, which creates even more issues.
“You’ve got this onion that is Covid, and each layer that keeps getting peeled back, and this new layer is that nobody wants to work,” said Matt Golden, the owner of Loda Biergarten.
Golden and other restaurant owners we spoke to say the issue is unemployment. Workers will get hired just to get fired so they can draw an unemployment check . They say it’s been beyond taxing because retention is usually never a problem, with Golden saying, “Unemployment has its place, for those that are trying to find employment and aren’t able to and I can appreciate that. However, the system is being taken advantage of right now.”
Still, there are those who find working in public a health risk. With more jobs available than those who can work, problems are stacking up. This happening as the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund is gearing up to take applications.
Across Dauphin Street, Bill Monahan, the owner of T.P. Crockmiers, hasn’t been on deck at the restaurant in years, but now, at 70-years-old he’s waiting tables again to keep his business alive.
“In my 40 years in the restaurant and bar business, this is the hardest time I have ever experienced, and the most fearful thing about it is, we don’t know we’re going to get out of it. You’re sitting here working 60 hours a week, and we are only open four days a week because we don’t have near enough labor, and we don’t know how long we can last physically or mentally doing what we are having to do right now, but we still love it and as long as we have a breath in us we are going to be down here trying to do what we do.”
Golden says their WeMo location will most likely continue to stay closed at least two days a week. These restaurants and those not mentioned are begging for people who are will and ready to work to come and apply.