State survey says over 80% of Michigan restaurants are understaffed

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) – Restaurants nationwide say they have seen a significant drop in sales over the past year.

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association surveyed restaurants statewide, where more than 50% of them say their business has seen fewer customers because of the Delta variant.

One Mid-Michigan restaurant says it’s not so much the customers they see less, it’s the staff.

“We can’t get any help, I mean we work with them as much as possible… We try, it’s just that it’s hard there because of the lack of help.”

White Horse Tavern owner Steve Poulos says they’ve been in business in Flint for almost 50 years.

In all these years, Poulos says it’s the first time they’ve had to close two days a week just because of a lack of staff.

“Before this all started, it was 7 am to 2 am six days… and it kills us to close Tuesday and Wednesday. “

Monday, the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association released the survey results with a significant decrease in the number of restaurants statewide, showing that the Delta variant reduced meals indoors by 58%.

Poulos says his business has not been affected in the sales department.

“Business has been very good, I mean we’re trying to tell them [to] be patient as much as possible, we will get the food out as good as possible or get it out as fast as possible and there has been no shortage of business, ”Poulos said.

In Grand Blanc, the Detroit Wing Company has been open for almost a year.

Although they don’t own an indoor dining room, Pamela Mlynarek says she has found that more and more people prefer to fulfill their order rather than sit in a restaurant.

“I think more people are ready to play sports just because they are comfortable in their own style of home. I still think people still like to go out for dinner, breakfast and lunch, but there is the possibility [to] carry out, ”she said.

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association reports that 87% of restaurants in the state are experiencing a staffing shortage.

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