Local restaurants, businesses facing staffing shortages

MIAMI VALLEY — Restaurants and other businesses in the Miami Valley are having to face the challenges that come with not being able to find and hire workers.

A local restaurant and brewery, Lock 27 Brewing, says it’s done well with both customers and staffing at its downtown Dayton location, but it cannot say the same about its Centerville location.

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Last week, the company decided to scale back its weekday hours, getting rid of lunch some days, to deal with what it says is an ongoing staffing challenge the industry is facing.

News Center 7′s Sean Cudahy talked with a company leader, Colin Barnhart, who spoke about what this means for customers.

“We’re really trying our hardest to keep up with things during the busy busy times but yeah sometimes it does mean longer waits on food, less servers to go around to come see our guests,” Barnhart said.

Lock 27 is not alone in this challenge. Other local businesses facing a similar struggle, both in and out of the restaurant industry.

According to a survey national restaurant industry leaders published earlier this summer...three quarters of restaurant operators report staffing and retention of workers...is their biggest challenge.

The Ohio Restaurant Association says they are hearing from restaurants in the state who say a lot of people are just not working right now. This is making it difficult to run a business at times.

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“Anybody that’s in this business right now is telling us across the board they don’t have enough employees. So it’s really kind of pinching the business right now. One of the things we’re noticing is a lot of restaurants are not open on Mondays and Tuesdays. Some of them are not even open on Wednesdays,” said John Barker, Ohio Restaurant Association CEO.

The state restaurant association says for the first time in 2021, it’s also seeing some restaurant sales level off and drop in some cases.

In many cases, the numbers had surpassed even 2019 levels earlier this year as COVID cases and the delta variant have spiked.

The organization points to this as a reminder it could take well over a year for businesses to fully recover.