Restaurants face staff issues as patrons flock back

·2 min read

It’s been a week since COVID restrictions lifted in the province for restaurants and Hatters are flocking back.

“Seeing people’s faces is so nice,” said Jacquie Reed, a server at the Paradise Valley clubhouse. “It’s been pretty happy, sense of normalcy.”

While the golf course wasn’t so affected by the restrictions, dinning at the clubhouse was. But while the restrictions have allowed patrons back, staffing is limiting hours with the clubhouse actively trying to recruit cooks.

Inspire Cafe has faced challenges with floods and downtown construction since it opened in the Hargrave Sissons Block.

But according to co-owner Louise Vernal, if not for those experiences leading up to the closures relating to the pandemic, “We’d probably would have panicked.”

A loyal base of patrons however have returned and, “People were sure excited for us being open.”

Vernal says Inspire has been able to bring back all its employees and, “After 14 months, it’s nice to have our staff back.”

For the Cypress Club, the dining room is open to the public for July as usual and for the first two weeks of August this year.

And, “this week we are booked solid,” said manager Lorraine Schmaltz, adding the club is open to all, “To show people our great food, atmosphere and the best kept secret patio in Medicine Hat.”

Schmaltz says the club will be hosting its first large wedding event since the pandemic and, “We’re moving full-speed ahead.”

But while the club has maintained employees throughout the pandemic, the abundance of special events means they need more.

And the dearth of staff appears largely from the 18 to 30 age group which usually need summer jobs to match the seasonal demand.

“I don’t know where they are,” said Schmaltz.

ALEX MCCUAIG, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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