SAN DIEGO — San Diego Restaurant Week launches this weekend with deals that draw crowds to some of the best food the region has to offer, but an ongoing staff shortage is leaving some eateries less prepared to handle the rush than usual.
Farmer’s Table is preparing for the influx of customers starting Sunday at its locations in Little Italy, La Mesa, Bay Park and Chula Vista, hoping it will provide a boost after getting hit hard by the pandemic. But in Little Italy, for example, customer capacity has been cut by a little more than half due to staffing issues.
“I want everyone to understand the era we are going through and be patient with us, and we will all get through this together,” said spokeswoman Sara Arjmand, explaining that they are typically able to accommodate about 200 guests, but that has been reduced to 90.
Five Guys in Clairemont told FOX 5 Thursday that management is struggling with staffing and had to reduce its hours. Yogurtland next door is struggling for the same reason.
Some blame safety concerns. Others say that unemployed workers, bolstered by stimulus checks and expanded jobless benefits, feel free to wait it out, change industries or hold out for higher pay.
“It’s a very difficult job because we have a lot of interaction with a lot of guests, so we’re at risk and a lot of people don’t want to go back to work,” Arjmand said.
San Diego Restaurant week runs from Sept. 26 to Oct. 3, with deals offered at locations around the region. There is an interactive map and other tools that can help you find your favorite deal online.