Bend▶️’Some restaurants don’t have Mondays’: Bend eateries close for labor shortage

▶️’Some restaurants don’t have Mondays’: Bend eateries close for labor shortage

▶️’Some restaurants don’t have Mondays’: Bend eateries close for labor shortage

▶️ Several popular Bend restaurants close for lunch due to labor shortage

Look around Bend and you may find your favorite lunch spot is closed due to a labor shortage.

“We were looking forward to, on a beautiful day like today, to have lunch at the Pine Tavern,” said Liz Rachun, a Bend resident.

Unfortunately for Rachun, her friends, and many other lunch-goers in Bend, the Pine Tavern is no longer serving lunch. The restaurant now opens at 2 p.m. with a sign in its outdoor bulletin board explaining the change is due to a lack of workers.

“Obviously we want this town to boom and have lots of options and it’s just staffing, everywhere,” Rachun said.

“People just change the way they do business and what that looks like and that is changing hours of operation whether that’s within the day,” said Damon Runberg, an economist with the Oregon Employment Department. “Some restaurants don’t have Mondays.”

Included in the “no-lunch” crowd: 900 Wall and Drake both amended their hours.

“Lunch is an important part for our restaurant,” said Anthony Avraam the Pine Tavern Manager “It’s an opportunity to create regulars, especially with the weather getting nicer, not being able to open our patio outside is devastating. Finding kitchen staff has been extremely difficult and has been detrimental to our ability to offer longer hours.”

“So I was in the industry for about 20 years,” said Craig Downer, a Bend resident “I have a feeling since the Rona cut down everything two years ago, that all that staff has just found other things to do.”

According to the Oregon Employment Department, that seems to be the case with employment at an all time high in the area.

“What’s different from today than before the pandemic is really that the demand for labor is really high, still,” Runberg said.

“We live in Portland and we see that there, too,” said Isa Mays.

Mays and her husband traveled to Bend to eat at the Pine Tavern and were disappointed the restaurant wasn’t open for their lunch. And a lack of staff is putting more stress on current workers.

“I have two friends or I guess one friend now that works at the Pine Tavern too and she really gets stressed out there,” said Lilly Huggin.

Huggin works down the street at Goody’s, where she said a majority of her high school-aged coworkers feel stressed out by a lack of staffing.

The solution to opening back up for lunch: hiring young or looking outside of the area for the short term. However, raising wages isn’t enough anymore.

“More wages is leading to more inflation and more inflation is leading to higher wages,” Runberg said.

Another solution to the workforce crisis is just waiting for the demand to decrease, therefore decreasing jobs. According to the Oregon Employment Department, Bend is slowly heading that way.

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