Citing exhaustion, staff “crisis”, two Alabama Chick-fil-As close their dining rooms
At least two Chick-fil-A stores in Alabama have informed customers that they are closing their dining rooms, citing exhaustion caused by a staff crisis. One of them said that “our team cannot continue at the rate at which we are”.
Stories of restaurants limiting days and hours, or making brief temporary closures, became commonplace this summer, and difficulty hiring and retaining staff was often mentioned as a factor. Dave’s Pizza in Homewood recently gained attention with a social media call saying “We will literally hire anyone.” While COVID-19 may be partly to blame, a tight job market is also a problem: Unemployment in Alabama was down to 3.2% in July, approaching the all-time low of 2.7% set just before the pandemic.
Despite this, the statements released Saturday by Chick-fil-A McCalla, a store at the Tannehill Promenade mall in Bessemer, and Chick-fil-A Madison, on US 72 west of Huntsville, stand out.
“We, along with many other companies, both locally and nationally, are in the midst of a personnel crisis,” a message posted on Saturday said. the Facebook page of the restaurant McCalla. “As we enter the busiest time of the year for our restaurant, which is September to December, and with the return of high school and college students and the soccer / holiday season quickly approaching , we are not able to schedule enough team members. to provide the excellent service our customers deserve.
“The restaurant industry has suffered a great loss since the start of 2020 and we are not immune to this loss. We are grateful for the support we have received from our loyal community throughout 2020 and the first half of 2021, ”the message continued. “We are very grateful, but our team cannot continue at the rate at which we are. Our team members are exhausted and there is no relief for them on our list. “
Madison Restaurant posted a similar message on Saturday on his Facebook page, but added a few more details on the hiring challenge.
“We are doing everything we can to hire more team members,” he said in a statement attributed to operator Norman Dull. “We see a lot fewer job applicants or people who don’t show up for their interviews. The restaurant industry has suffered from a hiring prospect during the pandemic, and sadly Chick-fil-A is not immune to this labor shortage. “
Madison’s statement concluded, “PS…. if you know someone who wants a quick job, Sundays off, a fun work environment and a chance to grow as a team member ……. ask them to call us.
The McCalla store dining room, which reopened on July 20, will close again on Monday August 23. The store will continue to operate its drive-thru and will continue to offer curbside pickup. The Madison store will maintain drive-thru but will suspend mobile curbside orders and mobile deliveries.