CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – A longtime Centerville restaurant is stopping breakfast and lunch service because of a lack of staff. The owner of Archer’s Tavern says the restaurant can’t operate as normal until they hire more people.
Dan Apolito says, “I could easily use 15, I’d love to hire 20-25. And that’s just about all positions.” But so far, few people are applying.
Apolito says the money is great right now -cooks are earning $15 an hour and bartenders and servers are making $30-$40 an hour when tips are factored in. But there are just not enough applicants.
Last spring the restaurant shut down for 11 weeks, then got Payroll Protection funds and brought everyone back who was willing. Apolito says, “We were cleaning, we were doing anything we could to get that money in their pockets, which is what the PPP’s intention was.”
But it wasn’t enough. To ease the burden on the current staff, the restaurant is cutting breakfast and lunch service and just opening for dinner hours. Apolito says, “We don’t want our people working as much as they were having to.”
Managers are working 60-70 hours a week to pick up some slack, but Dan says that’s way too much. He says they have about 55 employees but need to be closer to 70 for full service. Cutting breakfast and lunch is impacting current employees, too. “There are some folks, in order to get their 40 hours full time, would work lunch and dinner. And now that only those dinner shifts are available, the folks that do want to work, we’re having to cram them all into the evening shifts.”
And Dan thinks it’s too easy for people to not work right now. “I can’t blame someone who can make money and stay home. They don’t have to worry about daycare. They don’t have to worry about gas to and from, they don’t have a schedule to meet.”
To stay competitive with other fulltime jobs, Archer’s Tavern offers medical benefits, paid time off, and a 401K.