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Restaurants forced to adjust hours due to staffing

Now hiring signs continue to cover the Wiregrass, restaurants are taking a hit from being understaffed.
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - Now hiring signs continue to cover the Wiregrass, restaurants are taking a hit from being understaffed. There are restaurants having to adjust their hours and even close their doors on this Mother’s Day because of these staffing issues.

“It is a disappointment, big time,” Zackrey Whaley, owner of Zack’s Family Restaurant, said.

For the first time in 26 years Zack’s Family Restaurant has elected to close their doors on one of the busiest days of the year, Mother’s Day. Being understaffed is to blame.

“Everybody’s doubling themselves up and it’s hard,” Whaley said. “It’s hard to keep up with the staff and not just the staff but the customer base.”

Working overtime to keep their doors open.

“My staff is so overworked right now,” Whaley said. “The base of the people here, they are so overworked that it’s unreal and it’s hard to keep going and I know it, I feel it too.”

Whaley said the biggest issue, people just not showing up.

“It’s hard to get people to have any kind of resiliency about longevity,” Whaley said. “You know I hired I think two or three people this week and I know three of them didn’t show up.”

The restaurant currently has 10 positions available.

“You want to give that great service that we’re known for, that’s number one,” Whaley said. “And it’s hard to maintain that level of expertise when you’re so short you don’t have time to being doing what you need to be doing.”

Zack’s Family Restaurant is not the only one having to adjust hours.

“Let everybody know that we are trying our best to be here everyday we can be and we have got such a great reputation, we don’t want to let it down and let our customer base down, because this is for Dothan and everybody around us,” Whaley said.

RedBrick Pizza in Enterprise is being forced to close on Mondays and Tuesdays due to staffing.

“It was gut wrenching, because I have cameras all in here and I would sit at home and it’s pointed towards the door and I would see people walk up to the door and I would be like,‘ Ugh’ and it’s frustrating,” Caryn Caswell, owner of RedBrick Pizza, said.

When their doors are open, the dining room is at half capacity. Not because of COVID-19 protocols, but to staffing issues.

“When customers come in and see maybe 8, 9, 10 people back there, you have to remember that most of them are trainees,” Caswell said.

The biggest challenge they face -

“We can’t pay what the government is paying basically,” Caswell said.

Both entry level and management positions are available. Caswell said they would prefer to hire someone with experience, but understands it’s not always possible.

“I would love some shift leading experience or some manager experience, something like that,” Caswell said. “If I see potential in someone that comes off of the street, that might make a great shift leader, I’ll give them a couple of months and that would be fine too.”

Both businesses are thankful for their customers during this time.

“I appreciate all of my loyal customers and thank you for your patience and it means a lot to me,” Caswell said.

To apply at either of these restaurants you can simply go there, get an application and possibly score an interview on the spot and potentially walk away with a job.

Copyright 2021 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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