Michigan State University said it closed its dining halls to the public and cut the opening hours of 2 cafeterias because of a severe staff shortage

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Michigan State University
Michigan State University said last week that it would temporarily close its residential dining halls to the public because of staffing shortages. wellesenterprises/Getty Images
  • Michigan State University said it closed dining halls to the public because of the labor shortage.

  • MSU also said it planned to slash the opening hours of two cafeterias and two Starbucks outlets.

  • It described "severe staffing shortages" and said it was competing with local businesses for workers.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The labor shortage has forced Michigan State University to close its dining halls to the public and slash the opening hours of two cafeterias, the university said.

In a statement last week, the university described "severe staffing shortages" in its culinary-services team and said its residential dining halls would remain open only for people with MSU-issued ID cards.

It also said two cafeterias in residence halls and two Starbucks outlets on campus would reduce their opening hours.

The changes went into effect on Friday.

The university said some of the changes could remain throughout the fall semester. It added that it was "competing for the same available talent" as local businesses.

Many businesses across the US say they're struggling to find workers. While some businesses have said people don't want to work anymore, workers say they're quitting their jobs to seek better pay, more benefits, and improved working conditions.

MSU described the decision as a difficult one but said it would reduce the impact of labor and food shortages.

The university told Detroit's ABC affiliate on Friday that its culinary-services team needed about 470 full-time workers, 2,800 student workers, and 800 temporary and on-call employees to be fully operational. It did not say how many staff members it was short of.

The team dwindled when students returned home after in-person classes stopped in 2020, MSU said. Its student workers picked up jobs elsewhere and didn't come back, leaving gaps in the workforce, it added.

MSU didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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