Biscuit (Noun) : A person who is willfully ignorant and almost certainly incompetent

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The State of Things

Yesterday I came back from my trip to Indianapolis. I had a great time, got to see lots of people and, of course, had dinner at Sangiovese multiple times. Wine may or may not have been consumed, I’ll let you imagine how much.

The trip, however, did worry me. And I’m pretty sure it’s more than just blue car syndrome.

This week one of my restaurant businesses, a Dairy Queen franchise, was closed on Monday and Tuesday. Why? We simply don’t have enough staff to be open seven days a week.

It’s not for a lack of trying. We have ads on Facebook, two newspapers, our digital reader board out front and signs and applications literally attached to the drive through. We are offering ten dollars an hour and paying an attendance bonus. Yes, we are literally paying people just to show up.

And we can’t get people. And the rest of my trip didn’t seem to bode well for getting any.

While I was in Indianapolis I met with my business partner and Sangiovese’s General Manager to discuss the state of the business. One of the topics we discussed was whether or not we could or even should be open for lunch.

We’d like to be, but, in the end, we acknowledge that right now we are a few key losses away from not being staffed fully for dinner. When all was said and done we agreed that since dinner was going well and getting staff right now is so difficult that for the time being we’d not do lunch.

On my drive home I pulled off the interstate in Kentucky around 6:30 AM. It’s an exit I’m familiar with because I’m a bit of a coffee snob and there is a Starbucks and a McDonald’s right beside each other so I can hit both drive throughs.

The main Starbucks sign was on and the drive through board was lit up. I pulled to the speaker and waited. And waited. And waited.

Another car pulled in behind me. I waited. If you know Starbucks then you know that generally you are greeted immediately. So at that point I assumed the drive through speaker perhaps was malfunctioning so I pulled around to the pick-up window.

And that’s when I realized that no one was there. The inside was clearly not open, only dim lights illuminated the inside. No movement was visible. Clearly whoever was supposed to open didn’t bother to show up, and whoever closed the night before forgot to turn off the main sign and the drive through board.

Six hours later I pulled up to a Wendy’s drive-through in Georgia for lunch. There was a car at the speaker, a car behind them, and me. And I waited. And waited. And waited. The line did not move. I gave up and left the line, pulling out of the restaurant as two more cars pulled into the drive through line. I wished them good luck.

When I got home we tried to call one of the places we go to a lot because they are typically very reliable, fast and the food is pretty good. The first person that answered put me on hold. They didn’t come back. We called again. The person that answered the phone the second time seemed confused. Then told us they were very busy and weren’t doing carry out orders. Why did they even answer the phone then?

Think this is just restaurants? My team at CliftonLarsonAllen has two openings right now for a Senior and even a Director level ($100K+ job) position. I’ll be interested to see how that goes. I won’t be expecting them to get filled quickly.

2 thoughts on “The State of Things”

  1. It is a sad state of affairs when supposedly lots of people are out of work but places can’t get ir keep help. Me thinks there has been too much stimulus going around. Not sure what the answer is. Just thankful I am no longer in the working world.

  2. Thomas “Pops” Petty

    Stop paying the lazy! We’re so concerned with hurting someone’s feelings we’ve damaged their ability to function as a productive member of society.

    It’s time to stop paying those who can but won’t.

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