Mid-Michigan restaurants still struggling to recover from pandemic


EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – “We’re probably … I would say about 15 people short right now and that’s been affecting the number of people we can handle on a daily basis.”

Stuart Vanis is the co-owner at Coral Gables in East Lansing. He says since the pandemic started staffing has been a real struggle

“Which has caused us to decrease our hours, and that really becomes the biggest problems in terms of sales from one year ago or prior to that when you’re not open as many hours.”

And that’s not the only area that’s affected.

“There’s definitely supply chain problems more so than the product so every week you’re not sure what’s going to be out of stock, and you have to use different vendors to find products or just go out and buy them yourself.”

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging association released a survey showing that the Delta variant is taking a toll on many businesses.

58% of restaurant owners experienced a decline in indoor dining in recent weeks. 49% of owners say their restaurant is less profitable now than it was three months ago. 83% say their total labor costs are higher than they were before the COVID-19 outbreak, and 17% of operators think it will be 7-12 months before business returns to normal.

While 55% think it will be even longer.

Vanis says he can’t predict when things will get back to the way it was before COVID, but he hopes they can get some of those empty spots filled.

“These are just a whole new set of challenges that you have to adjust to on a daily basis.”

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