Man, restaurants and other hospitality industries can't catch a break. Few were hit harder than these businesses when COVID-19 first started and we went into lockdown. Restaurants and bars lost a ton of money. Many employees went without work and even switched careers entirely or took the unemployment benefits.

Fast forward over a year later and businesses are trying to open up but running into a different problem: they can't find anyone to work. People are desperate for workers right now and it shows. Many fast food drive thru restaurants now have their lobbies closed because they are short staffed. I was on a road trip with my camper the other day and I pulled into an A&W restaurant. I couldn't go through the drive thru so I walked up to the lobby. I should have known. Once again I was met with a sign that said staff shortage, the lobby is closed.

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Over the weekend Julie's Family Restaurant in Superior announced they would be closing Mondays & Tuesdays due to the labor shortage. They wanted to ensure that their workers didn't get burned out and could get two days off a week. They say the limited days of service is temporary and will be back to 7 days once they are fully staffed.

Many people on social media applauded the owners for appreciating their staff and ensuring they got time off.

Ken Hayes
Ken Hayes

A few weeks ago we were vacationing near Brainerd, MN. A friend had told us about a restaurant on a lake that was fantastic and we needed to try. We drove about a half an hour to this place to find that they too were closed because of a staff shortage.

If you do find a restaurant that's open you could expect longer wait times for food as the staff is doing their best to keep up. Of course it's not their fault, and they've been having a heck of a time trying to keep these businesses open.

Just about every store in town too has signs saying 'now hiring.' Many national stores are also offering incentives to get workers that we've never seen before. Walmart & Target recently announced programs to pay for their employee's college tuition.

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