Various restaurant owners in the Nashville area have weighed in on how hard it is to get vacancies for workers filled for their businesses, and how it is affecting things negatively.
Restaurants of all types, sizes and levels of sophistication are suffering throughout the area, with many of them having to reduce hours, limit menus, or even limit service to takeout or delivery only.
According to local outlet WKRN, Kahlil Arnold, the owner and namesake of Arnold’s Country Kitchen said:
"We’d have people that fill out resumes and then we’d tell them to come and show up for work, no shows. We had people call looking for jobs, we’d tell them to come in the next day, no shows. It was like you’d keep looking and there was nobody there. So it’s been crazy trying to find people to work."
Arnold added that the staff shortage has had a strong impact on how the restaurant provides service to customers:
"Full service is almost impossible right now where you’re either short in front of the house or you’re short in the back of the house. I mean a lot of your cooks are serving. You know I know a lot of restaurants where the chefs are out there in the dining room taking orders. I mean that’s what you’re having to do."
Arnold mentioned that restaurant owners have taken to rotating precious staff among different restaurants:
"I’ve sent dishwashers to other places, people have sent me prep cooks, so it’s kind of like the cool thing about the community here is everybody pitches in to help each other out."
Ben Powell, the owner of Fable Lounge, also commented:
"We focus on the elements of amazing culinary, amazing drinks, but also experience. And for people to provide that level of experience and move on from 'what' to 'good evening, and welcome, it’s a pleasure to see you,' all of those elements take a lot of time,"
Powell continued, "We’re fortunate enough in our society that we can push a button and someone will graciously bring us food. We also have the ability to cook."
"We can go from Broadway, we can go to a sports bar… we can go to Fable Lounge, we can go to all those different spaces. So it’s our responsibility as the ambassadors of this industry is to make sure we’re providing you the greatest experience of a lifetime."