It is tough owning a business, let alone one with multiple locations.
On Monday, Sparrow Bakery in Bend announced its original location on Scott Street will close due to labor shortage.
Trouble hiring is an issue Life & Time co-founder Garrett Wales knows all too well.
“People are always a challenge,” Wales said. “That’s just the way it works in almost all industries, but the last year and a half I’ve never experienced any staffing issues like this.”
Life & Time, currently located on Century Drive, will open another location on Bend’s eastside in a few weeks.
Wales says he is nervous and has already had to push back the restaurant’s opening.
“Especially yesterday, seeing Sparrow close down their original location,” Wales said. “It caught me a little off-guard.”
One thing working in Life & Time’s favor is the amount of to-go and drive thru orders.
“We were in a position where we certainly took a hit,” Wales said. “But a lot better than most in the industry kind of by accident.”
Cuppa Yo Frozen Yogurt’s unique business model of self-serve has also worked in its favor, enough so to relocate a second location back in February.
“We need a staff of two or three people tops at any one time,” Keith Clayton, Cuppa Yo owner said. “Whereas most restaurant models they need probably at least five to ten at a time.”
Clayton says the age of most Cuppa Yo employees has helped his business avoid labor shortages.
“Our demographic, 15 to 19, they’re just wanting to have a job to pay for their car or their car insurance,” Clayton said. “Or just their livelihood.”
Not all businesses will be so lucky, no matter the number of locations.
Bend Chamber of Commerce CEO Katy Brooks says restaurants are going to be dealing with labor shortages for a very long period of time.
All business owners ask for now is some patience.
“Cut us some slack,” Wales said. “We’re doing the best we can.”