GALVESTON, Texas – Many restaurants and hotels are still struggling to hire enough staff to meet guest demand for the holidays and face higher food and supply costs.
At many hotels and restaurants this holiday season, travelers can expect smaller staff, different foods on their plates, and higher prices.
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At The Spot in Galveston, it took a full year to reach full membership.
“Before COVID, we had already started phasing in salaries from $ 12 to $ 15 and COVID only accelerated that,” said Dennis Byrd, owner of The Spot.
But many restaurants are not so fortunate.
“We always see restaurants closing and there are many reasons that they cannot return to full capacity,” said Emily Knight of the Texas Restaurant Association.
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The Texas Restaurant Association says funding from the US bailout’s federal restaurant revitalization grant has run out quickly.
“We had 12,000 restaurants that applied for a grant and were left in the dark,” Knight said.
Restaurants also face grumbling in the supply chain.
“In October, we ordered 10 new umbrellas and received a notification last week that these umbrellas will ship in July 2022,” Byrd said.
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This is forcing restaurants to pay much higher prices and make food substitutions.
“My oil broker says he will come in January with a new oil to test because it is certain that at the end of the first quarter our oil will not be available,” Byrd explained.
Hotels say they face the same shortages.
“One day it’s towels, one day toilet paper, a lot of days it’s food,” said Willis Gandhi of the Galveston Hotel & Lodging Association and owner of four hotels in the Galveston area.
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He says customers booked at the last minute.
“If you check your books on Wednesday, it shows you’re only 50% busy. Then come on Friday morning, you’re 100% busy and scrambling to find staff because you hadn’t planned. that, ”Gandhi said.
The hospitality industry asks vacationers to be patient.
“I think if they’re trying to take care of clients the best they can, we all have to somehow come to terms with what’s going on right now,” said client Stephanie Beck.
The Restaurant Association encourages shoppers to purchase gift cards for local restaurants as freebies, saying it can help keep some going and you won’t have to worry about delivery delays.