Being short-staffed is the new normal for restaurants

STORY: Major U.S. restaurant chains are short-staffed, and they expect to stay that way

To survive, they've cut hours and streamlined operations

IHOP, Applebee's, Burger King and Popeyes are all at around 90% of 2019 staffing levels

Source: National Restaurant Association survey

An August survey found 65% of restaurants didn't have enough employees to meet customer demand

Some are using technology to plug the gaps

Popeyes is adding equipment that can cook faster and McDonald's is testing drive-thru voice ordering

Meanwhile, IHOP is shortening hours at a quarter of its U.S. restaurants

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Hiring has improved in recent months, with eating and drinking places adding 74,100 jobs in July

But the industry is still 635,000 workers short of where it was before lockdowns began