Joe Loves Lobster Rolls has significantly reduced the days it will be open in October due to a lack of workers, owner Tony Herndon said Tuesday.
“I am literally down to me, my daughter and one other worker because people don’t want to show up,” he said. “I have always seemed to be kind of OK (when it comes to having employees), but this year is just horrible.”
While other restaurants in the area have said the workforce shortage is due to lack of affordable housing and public transportation efficiencies, Herndon has a different feeling.
“People across the country and in the area are all having the same problem,” Herndon said. “I don’t know where the shift is from, but it seems the era of good work ethics (is) completely over.”
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Herndon said he think his wage is fair and that employees are paid $8 an hour plus tips. He said they often end a shift with an average of $15 an hour.
“I catch people stealing,” Herndon said. “My family has been (working in restaurants) since the ’40s. It used to be a career choice. It is not a career choice anymore, it is a stepping stone.”
Other restaurants have shortened their hours in the area because of workforce shortages.
Starbucks in Bluffton closed earlier for a period in August. An employee at the store said it was because they couldn’t find workers, however, store officials never confirmed the information.
Main Street Cafe & Pub on Hilton Head Island started closing their doors on Sundays in May after being open seven days a week for about 18 years.
Aaron Glugover, co-owner of the restaurant, previously said the addition of affordable housing could help solve the issue.
Several officials with restaurants at a job fair held in May also said affordable housing and transportation options were needed to help the workforce shortage.
More than 50 restaurants and resorts were represented at the job fair but few applicants showed up.
A calendar hanging on the door at Joe Loves Lobster Rolls gives the following dates and times for being open:
▪ 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct 3 to 5
▪ 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 10 to 11
▪ 11 a.m to 8 p.m. Oct. 12 to 14
▪ 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 18
▪ 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 19 to 21
▪ 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25
▪ 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 26 to 27
For more information call 843-645-7757.