Since COVID-19 became such a serious concern, food establishments have faced problems and many struggled to stay afloat. Chick-fil-A is no different, with a worker shortage causing the chain to close many of their restaurants down completely.
CBS reported last month an employee shortage affected many locations, but it appears the problem is more pronounced than expected. The leisure and hospitality sector struggle in the U.S. is well-known, but COVID-19 has also contributed.
Alabama in particular suffers from this problem. Numerous locations there are struggling to stay open at all due to lacking workers. One Chick-fil-A location in Bessemer, Alabama even wrote on their Facebook they face a “staffing crisis.” Going further, they state “our team members are exhausted and there is no relief for them in our roster.” At this point, the restaurant can only operate its drive-thru and mobile-ordering services.
Another Alabama location is seemingly in a worse situation. The Calera, Alabama establishment cited the same issue and had to slow orders down because of it. “You may have noticed that we have closed our dining room, turned off curbside delivery and limited the amount of catering orders we will accept,” their Facebook states. “This helps reduce the stress on our team.”
Nick Bunker, an economic research director at Indeed, shares why there’s a worker shortage. “Compared to pre-pandemic times, [the sector is] having a hard time turning job openings into hires, and employers in the industry are having a hard time retaining the workers they already have. Employers now have this two-sided problem, having a relatively hard time bringing folks on and having to deal with holding on to people that they do have.”
Chick-Fil-A’s New Program Has Donated Over 10 Million Meals
Beginning in 2012, over 1,200 Chick-fil-A locations through the United States take part. Its premise is simple, yet effective. Employees package surplus food and a partner organization picks up food from the restaurant. The organization then incorporates the food into the meals they serve.
FOX News shared a press release from Rodney Bullard, vice president of corporate social responsibility, on the program. “At Chick-fil-A, we are committed to making a positive impact in the local communities we serve, and the Chick-fil-A Shared Table program is one way we help care for those in need. We know that a nourishing meal is a critical need for millions of people, and we are so proud of the incredible milestone that restaurant Operators, their Team Members and partnering local organizations have reached together through this initiative.”
Some locations reportedly donate 80 percent of their surplus food. As such, the program seems like an easy way to do a lot of good.