by TYLER DURDEN
The country’s labor shortage is hitting home a little bit more for one Chicago-based pizzeria.
This past weekend, the restaurant couldn’t open because it didn’t have enough staff, according to a new report from Insider. It cost the owner about $5,000 in revenue, the report says.
Dave Bonomi, the owner of Coalfire Pizza in West Town, wrote on Twitter this past Sunday: “We are closed today. I simply do not have enough people to open.”
“In nearly 15 years of selling pizza, this has never happened,” he continued.
In addition to not having enough staff, Bonomi said that applicants for jobs weren’t showing up to scheduled interviews. He attributes the no-shows to restaurants having a toxic reputation as places to work due to harassment from customers and low pay.
Some of Coalfire’s staff had already left for higher paying jobs at larger restaurant chains. Coalfire increased its starting salary for cooks to $18 per hour from $15 per hour in response.
Coalfire had already been “running on fumes” with a skeleton staff, Bonomi said. These problems got worse during the pandemic, he said, noting that the pandemic and the ensuing shortage was like “nothing I’ve ever seen”.
Coalfire is a microcosm of a shortage taking place all over the country, where independent businesses find themselves shorthanded and unable to staff themselves. Restaurants and businesses that were just getting back to operating “normally” after the pandemic have still had to close their doors and shutter operations as a result.