How worker shortages are impacting customers and business owners

From retail stores to restaurants, businesses have a hard time hiring workers right now, but many owners also can’t afford to close their doors. Instead, they’re pushing through, albeit short-staffed.

Customers are feeling the impacts of those staffing shortages as well. They’re waiting longer to be seated and, in some places, paying higher prices.

Don Yamauhci is a Chef and co-owner of 400 Rabbits on Sanibel, and he hopes that his staff and customers return soon. They’ve got tacos and tequila, but Yamauchi doesn’t have enough people to serve his customers.

“A lot of the staff we have are working multiple days, 60 hours,” he said. This Mexican restaurant had no choice but to close its doors on Sunday. On Monday, because there weren’t enough cooks in the kitchen, Yamauchi stepped in.

“I haven’t gotten a response from Facebook on cooks in probably eight weeks,” Yamauchi said.

FGCU Economics Professor Victor Claar says he doesn’t see the shortage getting any worse. This is because people are going back to work, but they’re selective when choosing jobs.

“If it means that individuals are taking time to find an opportunity that is an even better fit over the long-term, everybody wins. Even though over the short term it is not very fun when restaurants are understaffed,” said Claar.

But right now, for Yamauchi, the shortage doesn’t feel short-term. He needs more people as soon as possible.

“It’s definitely not as good as we would like,” Yamauchi said.

Restaurants are not the only businesses feeling the pinch; even some convenience stores cut back on hours because they don’t have enough employees. Claar says we just don’t know when things will get better.

Reporter:Andryanna Sheppard
Writer:Drew Hill
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