Restaurants in Hazard needing more employees after seeing increase in business

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 5:43 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Several restaurants across the country have been seeing a massive increase in business. With more and more people getting vaccinated, the need and comfortability for dining goes up. Unfortunately, not many restaurants have the staff to combat the need for service.

Co-owner of Big Blue Smokehouse in Hazard, Estill Neace, says it is a good problem for a restaurant to have.

“There is no comparison because we were closed, just curbside service only a year ago right now. Even with limited capacity, we still get a lot of people wanting to come and eat,” Co-owner of Big Blue Smokehouse Estill Neace said.

Neace says there is not enough staff to meet demand.

“We’re really in need of servers, bartenders, cooks, dishwashers, you name the category and we have a need that we need to fill right now,” Neace said.

While not as desperate, another Hazard restaurant, Fork N Table, has a general manager having to pick up the slack.

“Me and Crystal, the owner, it went down to maybe just me and her working and now we have to bring more in so it’s been a lot of work on us, but we’ve made it through and we’re just happy we did make it through so we’re doing okay,” General Manager at Fork N Table Sis Turner said.

Neace is asking everyone to remain patient while new employees are trained.

“We still have a group of veteran staff, but we don’t have as many as we used to have. So, that does affect how well your service may or may not be at any particular restaurant,” Neace said.

Turner says they will keep trying to provide a good service.

“When you’re slow on staff and just depend on people and they don’t show up or everybody’s always running late, it puts everybody else in a bind and everybody behind,” Turner said.

Both restaurants are currently hiring. Neace says their situation is so dire that they will hire on the spot.

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