When I arrived at a fast food restaurant for dinner Friday night, I found the doors locked.
I didn’t have to ask why. There were a few employees inside. The drive-through was still operating. But the doors had been locked to turn away customers. There weren’t enough employees available to open for normal business.
The first time this happened — a couple of months ago — I was shocked. I couldn’t imagine a fast food restaurant just locking its doors and turning away customers. But as it’s happened more and more often since then, I’ve gotten accustomed to it. This has come to seem almost normal.
It’s not just this restaurant, either. After I couldn’t eat where I’d planned, I went to a mid-priced restaurant nearby. It was open, but I was told there was a wait of about 20 minutes. Since I saw open tables all around, I asked why.
“We just don’t have enough employees to open up more tables tonight,” the manager told me.
After talking with various managers and young employees in the last two months, I’ve heard the same thing from most of them. It’s hard to get employees to take jobs right now — because those who might overwise work find it easier to get a government check and stay home instead.