Some Grand Strand restaurants see record crowds, deal with staff shortages during holiday weekend

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 7:03 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – With the COVID-19 vaccine in arms and restrictions lifted, some Grand Strand restaurants saw record crowds during the Memorial Day weekend.

It was this time last year that many restaurants were struggling because they could only offer outdoor dining and takeout services.

But after a year of lockdowns and restrictions, this Memorial Day weekend was the first real look at normalcy, and for some restaurants, their bottom line was better than ever.

“Looking back at the past Memorial Days we’ve done here, it’s probably going to be a record weekend for us,” said Weldon Boyd, the owner of Buoys on the Boulevard.

Over the weekend, workers at Buoys didn’t have to wear face masks for gloves. And the restaurant was packed inside and out.

“It’s nice to see so many people out and about and we’ve had so many new faces around here and that’s what makes me so excited,” Boyd said.

“Last year it was like a ghost town,” said the owner of Deckerz, Amy Beasley.

She said that business started picking back up in March, but the only problem is that there are not enough workers to keep up with the demand.

She said they’re still short about six to seven employees, mostly for kitchen positions.

“It’s very hard to keep help in the kitchen… been working in the kitchen a lot myself just to make up for it,” Beasley said.

She admitted that the lack of workers made the holiday weekend a bit overwhelming, but she said for the most part people were understanding.

“Normally, if you’re upfront with them and they decide, ‘No, I don’t want to wait an hour,’ they will get up and leave. But the majority of them have been very patient with us and understanding. You just have to explain it to them,” Beasley said.

For Memorial Day, Beasley said Deckerz operated on normal business hours. But on Tuesday, the kitchen will open later than usual because they are so short-staffed.

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