COVID-19

As restaurants reopen, finding staff is a problem

The state is allowing restaurants to open at 50% capacity, but some businesses are having a hard time covering shifts.

Restaurants are open for business in Michigan, but a lack of staff is hampering their ability to resume business as usual.

What Happened: After barring all indoor dining in November, state health officials allowed restaurants to reopen in February at 25% capacity. Last week, they upped that to 50% capacity.

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But the extended closures have had the effect of limiting the workforce that restaurants can tap into to staff their businesses. Some former restaurant workers have left the industry entirely after being laid off last year.

The Millennium Restaurant Group operates several restaurants including the 600 Kitchen and Bar in Kalamazoo. Executive chef Jason McClellan told WWMT hiring has been difficult.

“It’s been extremely challenging to get qualified applicants in and with restaurants that are still open, we’re kind of going against each other,” he said.

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