MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - As an influx of people come down to the Grand Strand for vacation, local restaurant owners say they are asking visitors to be patient; as they just don’t have the staff to keep up with demand.
“Until the unemployment bonus ends I don’t see how any of this is going to change,” said Sharon Treffeirsn, owner of Hot Tomato.
During Saturday morning brunch, many Grand Strand eateries saw waits out the door and yet still had empty tables inside.
Treffeisrn said it comes down to not having enough staff.
She also said this is now normal for restaurants across Myrtle Beach.
Unable to keep up with the sudden surge of demand, not because they didn’t expect a spike in tourists, but because no one is handing in their resume.
“I need at least seven more staff members in this restaurant and I’ve been trying to hire for the past month, but no one shows up for interviews or even applies,” she said.
Trefferirsn blames the extra unemployment bonus from the federal government.
Right now anyone on unemployment nationwide receives an extra $300 a week.
That’s on top of what South Carolina already gives out, which is anywhere from $42-$326 a week before taxes.
Combined, it adds up to around $600 each week for those who qualify for the maximum amount.
“A lot of people just, it’s easier to sit at home, than try to make less money, and be treated poorly in the service industry,” she said.
Treffeirsn also said because they’ve been so short-staffed, Hot Tomato has begun closing on Wednesdays in order to give workers a day off.
The move is cutting into money they could be making during the busiest they’ve been in months.
The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce is adding back the work search requirement on April 18.
It means those collecting benefits must show proof of at least two work searches each week.
Despite that, Treffeirsn said she’s unsure of how much this will make a difference.