Milwaukee Ale House in Grafton adjusts hours due to lack of staff

Other restaurants are also dealing with a shortage
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Posted at 9:27 AM, Apr 26, 2021

The Milwaukee Ale-House in Grafton said it has had to close the restaurant during certain time periods due to lack of staff.

The restaurant posted on Facebook to announce the changes, saying it was closing during Wednesday lunch and Sunday dinner.

"We need to close during these hours because we are no longer able to staff our restaurant with enough employees to keep up the standards to which you have all become accustomed," the post read.

The restaurant's hours on Wednesdays will be 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Owner of the Milwaukee Ale House in Grafton, Mike Stoner, said the demand for his restaurant is amazing, but he just doesn't have enough staff.

"A lot of people are coming out and want to go back into a normal life, but I'm having a hard time finding enough employees or even people to interview," Stoner said.

He said normally they would easily have eight to ten servers, but now he barely has half of that, so he had to make a tough decision to close to keep his staff from burning out.

We spoke to some restaurants in the Milwaukee area who also say they are feeling the same burden.

Balzac general manager Tom Schissler said his staff has also been pinched.

"I think the pandemic forced people to think differently and sort of settle into other positions," Schissler said.

According to a survey earlier this month by The National Restaurant Association, 20% of restaurant operators say they are below normal staffing levels, and 88% of operators say the pandemic is making it more difficult to recruit and retain employees.

Wisconsin Restaurant Association President and CEO Kristine Hilmer feels like there are many reasons behind this.

"A lot of the staff left the industry and went elsewhere because there were still job openings," Hilmer said. "Plus, we also know that there's a lot of teens that aren't taking jobs these days."

With the added pressure to meet the demand of customers, Hilmer said people need to be patient as restaurants get back into the groove of everyday dining.

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