Mid-South restaurant owners still struggling to find employees

MEMPHIS, TENN. — Mid-South restaurant owners are still struggling to find employees.

Because of this, managers are forced to make tough decisions like closing early, warning customers about long wait times or other options.

“Little by little I think we just have to roll with it and do what we got to do,” said Rumba Room owner Edgar Mendez.

Edgar Mendez wears many hats. He owns Rumba Room, teaches salsas lessons and now he’s doing more bartending.

He’s helping a little more because he said it’s hard finding people who want to work.

Other restaurant managers FOX13 talked to said they’re also having hiring problems.

“We are happy we survived the whole year and we are back in business, just trying to get people, that’s the hard part right now, trying to get staff,” said Mendez.

Because of a lack of staff, Mendez decided to temporarily stop serving lunch so he can focus on dinner.

He doesn’t believe unemployment benefits are to blame. He thinks some people just wanted to move on.

“Everyone had to figure out how to make money and they figure out how to make more money than they were making before,” said Mendez.

For now, Mendez is focusing on the positives. His business is still open despite several shut-downs and strict COVID-19 restrictions.

All he needs is a few more workers.

“I think we are just grateful that we survived, we got to do whatever we have to do if we survive COVID,” said Mendez. “This is nothing, we just have to work hard and keep moving forward.”