Texas Restaurants Struggle To Find Employees, But Not Diners

By Anna Gallegos

April 2, 2021

Restaurants across Texas are in a bit of a pickle right now.

Customers are back now that Texas eateries are allowed to reopen 100%, but staff members haven't yet returned. It's causing headaches for both customers and owners.

When customers arrive at a restaurant, "they get upset because you have to be put on a wait. There's sections that are closed. They see tables that are open. What they don't realize is that the restaurant is doing that intentionally most of the time because they don't have enough people," Frankie Randazzo told 12News. He owns the restaurant Madison's in Beaumont.

Braunda Smith, the owner of Lucy Cooper's Texas Ice House in San Antonio, told KSAT that before the pandemic she had 32 staff members but was down to eight on a Friday in March.

There's a variety of reasons why people are staying way from open restaurant jobs right now. Some people don't want to job interacting with the public during the pandemic for personal health and safety reasons.

Others have moved to different jobs or are even working for third-party delivery apps, one North Texas restaurant owner told the Dallas Observer.

Some also find that its easier to get by on unemployment benefits, especially if they were previously paid minimum wage.

Owners like Smith are hoping that customers will give them a break as they try to restart their businesses during the pandemic. Smith said she had to close one weekend because she didn't have the staff and didn't want to provide poor service.

"After being closed for so many months - you know what a hard decision that was as a business owner - but I would rather do that and save my reputation and give you no service than bad service,” she told the San Antonio TV station.

Photo: Getty Images

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