GRAPEVINE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The restaurant labor shortage across Texas is hitting hard right here at home.
The chain Spring Creek Barbeque is the latest victim.
Two locations in Grapevine and Addison have closed temporarily due to lack of staff.
"We are fortunate to have some wonderful young people work for us, we just don't have enough right now," said Chris Carroll, CEO of Spring Creek Barbeque.
Carroll says they've moved the staff they had at those two locations to other stores.
"It's just really hard to find labor right now," he said.
And Spring Creek is not alone.
Christopher Aslam is a franchisee of Jack-In-The-Box and Golden Chick. He says they're operating with about half staff.
"In my 25 years of doing this, I have never experienced anything like it," Aslam said.
The pandemic wasn't kind to the restaurant business as a whole.
Joe Montessori from the Texas Restaurant Association says 94% of restaurants in the state have said they can't open to full capacity due to lack of employees.
He says there's about 166,000 workers who are either still at home caring for their kids, left the business altogether or are on unemployment.
"Many of the restaurants that we have spoken to have expressed they feel their greatest competitor right now for employees is the federal government," Montassori said.
Many restaurants are now stepping in to offer incentives.
"We have offered up to $1,000 bonuses just for cashiers and fry cooks," Aslam said.
Another example is Chipotle. The company is looking for 400 workers around North Texas and recently increased wages.
Regardless, owners just say they hope things even out soon.
"Everyone is just trying to the best they can in our community and I think things will stabilize over time," Carroll said.
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