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Restaurants see staff shortages as stimulus, unemployment checks arrive

Restaurants see staff shortages as stimulus, unemployment checks arrive
Posted at 5:50 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 21:11:00-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The owner of The Atomic Omelette in Corpus Christi says he's having such a hard time keeping his restaurant staffed, they were forced to close very early on Monday.

Mike VanSyckle blames several things related to COVID-19 for the lack of job applicants.

He points to the government stimulus checks and extended unemployment benefits, but also parents having to stay home instead of working to homeschool their children or avoid the cost of daycare.

When you add income tax refunds starting to hit bank accounts, it's a perfect storm that VanSyckle says is making hiring difficult for lots of businesses.

“It’s just a combination of everything that’s affecting us all," he said. "It’s not just the hospitality industry."

An Atomic Omelette assistant manager says he understands why some people may be living off government checks rather than looking for work.

“I’m not going to say I don’t blame them," Adam Magana said. "But at the same time that’s their money. Do whatever you want to do with it."

While that might work for some, Magana says that lifestyle isn't for him.

"By getting up and going to work, (it) makes me feel like I can just keep on going," he said. " As long as there’s breath in my body, I can keep moving.”

While the Atomic Omelette continues to attempt to hire people who are, "dependable and able to work 30-40 hours a week," according to a Facebook post by a restaurant manager, VanSyckle says he'll continue to try to keep the doors open and the food coming out of the kitchen quickly.

"Let’s collect our thoughts, start getting our feelers out there, and try to find some employees and bring them in here,” he said.