Bryan, College Station restaurants still struggling to hire staff as football season begins

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 10:18 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Some Bryan and College Station restaurant owners say they are still struggling to find staff as the busiest season of the year begins.

C&J Barbeque owner Justin Manning says it is concerning as his multiple locations are constantly dealing with staffing issues.

“They will fill out applications and then not show up for interviews, or they will get hired and not show up for their first day,” said Manning.

Manning says that’s only when they are able to even get applications.

Gate 12 Bar and Grill and J Cody’s Steak and Barbeque owner Cody Whitten says he is seeing the exact same thing at his restaurants.

“We may hire them and they come in, work one day, and decide it’s not for them and they quit with no notice,” said Whitten.

The latest data shows that the unemployment rate in Brazos County continues to bounce between 4% and 5%. The highest it got during the COVID-19 pandemic was at nearly 9%, almost double where it is at now. Still, business owners say they can not seem to find help.

Some restaurant owners who spoke with KBTX earlier in the summer said they were hopeful this issue with staffing would be over once school began and unemployment benefits ended. Now, many are realizing that may not be the case.

As the busiest time of the year approaches with the start of Aggie football, Whitten says he is hoping he can get some more help.

“There is a lot of excitement about football coming back. Everybody is looking to go to the games and they are talking about big crowds, but trying to staff properly with what we have is difficult,” said Whitten.

Even with this strain on businesses, Manning says he still feels a sense of optimism and hope.

“As bad as 2020 was, and as bad as 2021 has been, it really makes me proud of our community and people in general that do show support and do show tons of gratitude for everything we do,” said Manning.

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