A lack of staff is impacting businesses and their hours of operation.
One example in North Bay is Burger World on Hammond.
The restaurant posted on social media over the weekend they’ll be closing at 4 pm on Sundays and shut down all day on Mondays, for the time being.
Daniel Rivet, owner, says staffing, especially a need for experienced cooks, is a major reason.
“I’ve got an ad out on Indeed, [the government job bank], Facebook, you name it. I’ve had no responses. People who are actually applying for a job have never worked in this industry at all. And in my environment, it’s too hard to bring somebody of that nature into the beast of what Burger World is,” he says.
Rivet says he doesn’t have enough cooks to be open all week long.
“I can’t make these guys work seven days a week. It’s not right and nor would I even ask that of them because they already work so hard for me as it is and give me every ounce of their energy. I can’t ask for more than what they’re giving me,” he says. “This is my way of saying I’m in it with you guys and this is how we’re going to do it, I’m going to take the hit and we’re going to slowly regroup.”
Rivet also says the double vaccination policy for people to sit down and eat in the restaurant is another reason for the adjusted hours.
“I’m overwhelmed at how much business I’ve actually lost due to having to show proof of double vaccination and showing identification. There’s a lot of people who have shown up to the restaurant without it, some have even gone as far as berating some of my employees,” he says.
Rivet says there are so many different rules and a lot of questions have gone unanswered.
“You don’t have to be double vaccinated to come in and do a take-out order; you don’t have to be double vaccinated to be a delivery driver and pick up an order; you don’t need to be double vaccinated to be a Skip The Dishes driver. You only need to be double vaccinated to come into the restaurant, and sit down and eat,” he says.
Rivet says his hands are being tied by government regulations and decisions, and can’t run his restaurant seven days a week because of it.
“Don’t get me wrong I’m double vaccinated, 100 percent and totally a believer in it, but that doesn’t give me the right to tell somebody who chooses not to do it, ‘sorry you can’t come into my store’,” he says.
Rivet says the world has been struggling mentally with all of this and some staff have come back and simply couldn’t handle the situation.
But, that’s not all.
“Our shutdown affected us the most, our industry, retail, restaurants. People went out and [sought] other jobs and learned new trades and now the demand is still there,” he says.
Rivet also points to government assistance programs and says some people don’t need to come back.
“Some of them that are coming back to work slowly because our federal government, Mr. Trudeau, is basically telling people we want you to go back to work, we’re going to give you money, but you can still stay home until the end of October,” he says.
The Canada Recovery Benefit is available until October 23rd, 2021.
Rivet is hoping the adjusted hours will only last a few weeks as they get more people in and train them.