As COVID restrictions relax, Harrisburg restaurants face staffing shortage


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Restaurants seem to be on a road to recovery after a really tough year, but now that restrictions are relaxing they’re facing a new challenge.

Restaurants are having trouble keeping up with booming business, because of major staffing shortages.

Owner of Flinchy’s Matt Flinchbaugh says he’s had trouble filling open positions.

“It’s great that the regulations are being dropped on us but we don’t have the manpower to open up 7 days a week yet,” Flinchbaugh said

It’s a challenge he hasn’t had before.

“In my 20 years plus of being in the restaurant business. I’ve never had a problem getting waitstaff, bartenders,” Flinchbaugh said. “In 2019 there would have been 30 people lined down the street for a bartending job here.”

He isn’t alone. Jason Viscount, owner of Greystone Public House and Greystone Brew House, says it’s happening at his restaurants too.

“We’re in the same situation too. All restaurants right now are trying to find help and it’s not out there right now,” Viscount said.

The staffing shortage is having a real impact as they try to recover from a tough year.

“I can’t even open my doors to regular hours right now because of the lack of help,” Flinchbaugh said. “We need people. The more we open the less we have and the harder the servers and everybody’s working.”

He thinks the bigger unemployment checks are to blame.

“It’s not just restaurants, it’s landscapers, construction workers, Lowe’s, Home Depot, big box stores. Every single one of them is hiring and nobody is filling out applications. They’re sitting at home getting free money,” Flinchbaugh said.

They have a lot on their plates right now, but they’re focused on service with a smile, even while they’re short on hands.

“We’re in the business of making people happy. That’s the whole business,” Viscount said. “We don’t cook food for ourselves, we cook it for the experience. Anybody can go anywhere but we try and do an experience.”

Both restaurants are hiring for multiple positions. If you are interested in applying for a job at Greystone, click here. If you are interested in applying for a job at Flinchy’s you can contact them here.

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