A&W Restaurant in La Crosse shutting down every Wednesday
Staffing issues forcing the restaurant to close up shop once a week for the time being
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – The service worker industry is hit so hard right now, that it’s forcing one restaurant in La Crosse to shorten its hours of service.
Short and easy work days are not in Connor Iverson’s dictionary.
“I don’t mind the job,” Connor said, who is the head coach supervisor at A&W Restaurant. “I like the money. But you know, could definitely use people.”
A&W is so short of people that Connor says he’s working up to 65-hour weeks.
“It gets to the point where everybody feels like it’s one, long day,” he said.
And he barely has any free time.
“I get a day off occasionally,” Connor said.
Going forward, Connor and the rest his co-workers are going to have guaranteed days to rest up.
“I’m going to enjoy the time off,” he said.
That’s because the restaurant is so understaffed that it has to close up shop every Wednesday.
“Everybody’s on the breaking point,” owner Tom Seiler said.
The pay is not the big part of the problem.
The restaurant’s starting wage right now is $15 an hour for cooks.
Servers are making up to $18 an hour.
“Our wage levels have significantly increased,” Seiler said.
Seiler says it’s rather about people being hesitant going back to work.
“And for us, our sale volume has increased significantly,” Seiler said. “We’re doing more business than we normally would this time of year.”
If there’s a silver lining with all of this, that’s the one.
“It’s a good problem to have,” Seiler said.
But it’s come to a point where there’s too much demand for the supply, and ultimately costing the restaurant in more ways than one.
“Everybody needs a break,” Seiler said. “And if we have to close one day a week to do that, then we’re going to do it.”
“Hopefully, we’ll get to be open all day, or all week soon if we get more people in and whatnot,” Connor said.
Seiler says the restaurant will continued to be closed every Wednesday until they can find enough people.
The restaurant is hiring for all open spots, including servers, cooks, dishwashers and car hops as one could imagine.
Seiler says he has about 13 people on-staff right now, but usually he has about 24 this time of year.
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