GREEN BAY – Northeastern Wisconsin has gotten serious about its food, from fast to fine dining.
There’s just one problem: Too many kitchens, not enough cooks. Or waitstaff. Or bartenders. Or dishwashers.
Restaurants throughout the region have closed their doors or modified their hours in the past month to cope with staffing shortages.
The Grandview Steakhouse in Fremont cited staffing challenges before closing. So have Red and Victoria’s Italian Cuisine in Green Bay. A Neenah Taco Bell’s late-night “fourth meal” in Neenah was cut back to three and a half, with employees telling customers a lack of staff was to blame for reduced drive-thru hours and a brief closure last month.
Even those doing well — be it downtown Green Bay’s fine-dining staple The Black and Tan or the trendy Algoma destination Skaliwags — say staffing never ceases to be a major challenge.
“The restaurant business is difficult anyway and when you hire someone, you’re hiring a family member as much as an employee,” Skaliwags owner Chris Wiltfang said. “Finding people that fit can be difficult. It can be difficult to stay competitive with wages and hard to know, especially at seasonal restaurants, if you have enough staff.”
It’s not hard to see why, when…