A seafood restaurant in Alabama is closing down, with its owner blaming the move on a lack of cooks.
Bayley's Seafood Restaurant had previously stopped its dinner service due to a lack of labor.
In April, the quit rate at hotels and restaurants was nearly twice as high as the national average.
A seafood restaurant in Alabama is closing down, with its owner blaming the decision on a struggle to find enough kitchen staff.
Bill Bayley, owner of Bayley's Seafood Restaurant in Theodore, just off Alabama's south coast, said in a Facebook post that from Wednesday it would "be closing for good due to inability to get staff needed to run a restaurant efficiently."
"What we need is, we need cooks," Bayley told AL.com. After the restaurant's night-shift cook left, it had to stop dinner service and instead shut at 4pm on the five days a week it operates, the website reported.
The restaurant's daytime cook has now said he plans to retire after working there for nearly 30 years, the owner's wife Carol told AL.com.
The owners said they were accepting applications and may be able to reopen if they found suitable candidates.
"We have people say, 'Hey, we know somebody who's in culinary school,'" Carol Bayley said. "Well, unfortunately we're a mom-and-pop restaurant. They basically need to grill, cook on the stove, fry and broil, be able to group the tickets."
Although there are now more than 1 million more workers in restaurants, cafes, and bars than there were a year ago, owners are having to juggle with high staff turnover rates, which is causing headaches as the busy summer season starts.
Workers across the US have quit their jobs in record numbers in search of higher wages, better benefits and hours, and a better work-life balance.
In April, 740,000 workers in the accommodation and food services industry quit their jobs, according to preliminary figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics – a quit rate of 5.6%. While this is the industry's lowest quit rate in more than a year, it's still the highest of all sectors and nearly twice the national average.
Understaffed restaurants have been forced to change their operations, with some cutting their hours, closing dining rooms or limiting menu options because they can't find enough workers.
Two-thirds of the 5,300 small business owners polled by Alignable in May and June said they don't think they'll be able to hire enough people to meet their needs this summer and 4% said they expected to have to cut their operating hours.
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