Local restaurants facing a shortage of employees

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas– Since restaurant capacity opened back up to 100 percent in Lubbock, many local owners and operators now face an issue with hiring new employees to help out.

For Nora Garcia, Owner of La Mission #2 in Wolfforth, it’s a struggle they’ve seen affecting both their business and their service.

“For the first time in four years we have to go into recovery twice,” said Garcia. “Recovery means we have to close in the middle of lunch time because we just can’t make it, so our customers have to go.”

President of the Lubbock Restaurant Association Chapter, Chris Berry, said it’s an issue 91 percent of restaurants have seen.

“We are all working a tremendous amount of hours and a lot of us have cut back on operating hours for our restaurants,” said Berry. “It’s not because we need a break and it’s not because we are tired it’s because we simply don’t have enough staff.”

It ends up being a domino effect for these operations who need staff to serve and need service to make money.

“We lost about 20 percent revenue from 2019 to 2020,” said Berry who also runs River Smith’s Chicken & Catfish. “Without programs like the PPP we probably would not have survived.”

To help this issue, Northwest Texas Small Business Development Center is offering a Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF).

“It’s going to cover payroll and things like that, other working capitol, help them afford food” said Small Business Development Center Cares Act Consultant, Austin Payne. “It helps a lot of things that go into running the day to day operations of a restaurant.”

Those applications opened May 3 and are available to any restaurant, bar or winery as long as the business has one-third onsite patrons.

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