How they overcome staff shortages, supply chain issues

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CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (WBTV) – The Popular Charlotte Restaurant Week, also known as Victoria Day, is back.

The 10-day event kicked off on Saturday, allowing people to enjoy multiple dishes for just $ 30 to $ 35 at a range of restaurants in the Charlotte area.

Restaurant owners say they are delighted to participate after the parties planned for last July and January which were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But they also face more challenges than ever before.

Staff shortages are forcing restaurants like The Manchester in the South End to rethink their Queen’s Feast operations.

“We tested it on Friday full board and it was a bit more chaotic than usual so on Saturday we cut it down we had to close our patio section,” said Christopher Harris, deputy managing director of Manchester .

Harris says alcohol shortages also make it difficult to stock his bar.

“I spend two to three hours a week going to several stores to choose what we need, or we have to switch to different products,” he said.

Challenges prevent many restaurants from participating.

The last Victoria Day took place in January 2020 and included 143 restaurants, representing an economic impact of $ 10 million over 10 days.

This year for the July 2021 holiday, only 42 restaurants are participating.

One of them, Red Rocks Cafe in South Charlotte, has been involved since the first Queen’s Feast in 2008.

“It was very scary for us to schedule it this year due to the staff levels,” said John Love, co-owner of Red Rocks Cafe. “We have around 25 to 30% less staff than in 2019.”

Love says they’re making adjustments as well.

“We had to completely turn off our take out business and our reservation system because we were at maximum,” he said.

But despite the uphill battle, he says the customers are worth it.

“Our clients have been very understanding, they have all been in a good mood, they have been courteous, they have been patient and we have not had a problem with our clients’ satisfaction,” Love said.

Restaurant owners say they are already seeing a boom in their business.

The party continues until Sunday July 25.

For more details Click here.

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