Lexington restaurant owner reduces hours due to staff shortage

Kentucky business owners are struggling to cope with a nationwide hiring crisis.
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 3:59 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky business owners are struggling to cope with a nationwide hiring crisis.

Many of them are so short-staffed they’re having to cut back on open hours.

If you take a drive through Lexington, you’ll see a lot of “hiring” signs. It’s a sign that’s now up in front of Sav’s Restaurant.

“I’m really hopeful that things will change eventually,” said Sav’s owner Mamadou ‘Sav’ Savane. “In the meantime, we are surviving one day at a time.”

Savane is known by loyal customers as Sav. He says finding employees is like searching for gold.

“The few that I have been kind of working double,” Sav said.

Sav’s increased wages from about $12.50 to $15 an hour. Still, he’s having to reduce hours.

There’s no more lunch for the time being. Plus, the restaurants open five days a week rather than six.

“All the small businesses around here, which we have tons of them in different categories, please support us, support us for the time being,” Sav said.

For Sav, who celebrated 13 years in business last Sunday, there’s hope for the future. But, only through resourcefulness in this hiring crisis to keep the employees he has left.

“The time we are going through right now, if you don’t make a wise decision, you’ll end up closing up your door,” Sav says.

Sav says industry-wide, the food supply chain is currently unable to meet the demand.

Employees at other businesses say they were hired quickly if fully vaccinated. The Fayette Mall also reports vendors are searching for enough staff ahead of the holidays.

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