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Workers quit jobs in record numbers, Jonesboro services affected

Published: Oct. 14, 2021 at 7:05 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Restaurants in Jonesboro are in a pinch, and patrons could experience longer wait times until the issue is worked out.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 4.3 million workers quit their jobs in August. That’s the highest mark since December 2000, and up more than 300,000 from July. Though it’s an issue across the country, it’s having a negative impact on Jonesboro businesses.

Chef John Myers, co-owner of the Parsonage, said his restaurant used to function like a well-oiled machine. He never had to worry if things were flowing properly. Now, he said it’s like taking care of a newborn baby.

“We have to apply more of ourselves now, not having enough employees,” Myers said. “Hopefully we can relate to the customer that we are short-staffed, so even though we can seat 100 people, I can’t put 100 people in here because I don’t have enough employees to cover all of that.”

Typically, the Parsonage needs 10 to 12 servers to function at full speed. Currently, they have four servers on staff.

Though Myers said the restaurant offers “prime” pay rates, they haven’t had any luck hiring new workers. He doesn’t know how else to fix the problem. While the issue hasn’t hurt profits, it’s taking a toll on the workers that do show up.

“Pre-covid, we would put out a notice that we’re hiring and we’d have 20-30 applicants. it wouldn’t be a problem,” Myers said. “Now we’ll put that same offer out, maybe one or two will respond. They may come in and fill out an application and then we never see them again.”

The restaurant is doing what they can to keep servers from being overworked, but right now, everyone has to pitch in a little extra.

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