Local restaurants still struggle to find employees after restrictions are lifted

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) – Since numerous COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, businesses have seen more customers, but fewer employees. Small businesses have done their best to stay afloat.

For some, running a business is more difficult than usual. Some have done employee work in addition to looking to hire. Lynchburg managers say the process has not been easy.

Virginia Lewis is a waitress at the Italian restaurant Graziano. She said: “I think what is happening is people see that they are making more money with unemployment. So they decided “if we make more money out of unemployment, we can just stay home.”

Graziano receives a lot of candidates. But they are not serious.

Lewis said: “We have had so many unemployed people who say they are going back to the job market, so they come for a few days to work and then they never show up again.”

When that happens, it leaves more work for their manager, Chelsea Easterbrook. She said, “You are trying to find qualified people and train them. So as a manager I don’t really wait for tables but ended up doing a lot. You have to do this to keep the place afloat.

At Firehouse Subs, they usually have a membership of 14 or 15, but currently they have nine.

Director James Campbell said: “A lot of people don’t want to risk coming to work. So that makes us longer hours.

Campbell added that it’s great to see sales increase, but like most small businesses, they are looking to fill all positions.

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement