As pandemic recovery continues, Grand Junction is wide open but it's not business as usual for all businesses.

Compared to where we were a year ago at this time, local restaurants must be ecstatic to welcome large numbers of customers to their establishment.  However, having more customers means needing more workers to meet the demand and that has presented a challenge for some Grand Junction restaurants.

Operating With Half A Staff

The sign pictured above was taken recently at a Grand Junction fast-food restaurant and you have to give them a lot of credit for their straightforward honesty.

Please bear with us, as we are super short-staffed causing wait times to be longer than they should be. We are currently staffed at half the employees we should have.We are trying our best. Thank you.

A  Lot of People Affected and I Feel Bad About It

That note causes me to have three levels of sympathy.

1) I feel bad for the employees who are there working their tails off to make up for the shortfall in staffing. I know from my own experience, working fast food isn't the most fun you'll ever have - even under normal working conditions.

2) I have sympathy for the business owner who is trying to earn a profit and make a living. The slower service can't be good for business.

3) I also have a certain level of sympathy for the customers who are the victims of slow service - and certainly not the quality of service they are accustomed to getting.

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Another Short-Staffed Story

I encountered a similar situation at a full-service restaurant where I had placed an order online and went inside to pick up the food. What was supposed to be about a 20-minute wait ended up being more like 50 minutes. The manager on duty apologized for the wait and explained to me they were extremely short-staffed and doing the best they could.

What Is the Problem?

Is the problem that people simply don't want to work - or is the government pandemic assistance they are getting diminishing their motivation to take a job? According to Legal Consumer, Colorado's out-of-work employees who are eligible for unemployment currently qualify for an additional $300 in federal benefits on top of what Colorado is paying them from the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, The federal funds will be cut off in September.

My Advice

My advice to restauranteurs who find their service to be slower than normal is to be patient, kind, and understanding. There are much worse things than having to wait a little longer to get waited on or to have your food prepared. The restaurants that are struggling with small staffs are doing the best they can with the workers they have. Let's show some grace, and continue to support our local businesses.

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