Half the staff, double the business

Sophomore Abby Fuqua works at Coastal Edge in Red Mill Commons.

Lola Goodloe

Sophomore Abby Fuqua works at Coastal Edge in Red Mill Commons.

Gabby Moye, Entertainment Editor

Local, service jobs have experienced a staff shortage like no other as the busy summer, season approaches.

COVID-19 restrictions caused many local companies to cut back on the amount of staff, with many workers to file for unemployment, but now that businesses are allowed to open back up to a higher capacity, customers are flocking in.

“We don’t have sections of the restaurant open because of the lack of wait staff, and we can’t take to-go orders because the kitchen is understaffed,” said senior Skyler Imbrogno. 

In a Instagram poll, 79 percent of working students said the businesses they work for are understaffed.

The summer season is often the busiest time for these service jobs and companies are finding it difficult to keep up with the influx of customers while being so short-staffed. Many of these full-service jobs have been forced to close during certain days, reduce their hours, and stop specific services they would normally provide.

“My last job had to close during the afternoons due to being so understaffed because we literally had no one to work during those times,” said junior Ethan Nieves. 

Many who previously worked in the service industry were hesitant to come back because they made more money under unemployment than minimum wage.  Service jobs became hard pressed to find workers. Teens who want a summer job will not have to look too hard, as the hiring signs can be seen in almost every window.

“It’s affecting the summer’s busy season by overworking everybody and just having not enough staff overall,” said Ocean Lakes alumni Akina Whalen.