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Tucson restaurant struggles to hire staff as business picks up

Wings Over Broadway
Posted at 5:53 AM, May 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-28 10:04:14-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Wings Over Broadway has been in Tucson for 14 years and has many loyal customers.

"We're getting out and eating out more. This is one of our favorite places," said customer, Jacob Jackson.

Jackson isn't the only one choosing to dine-in more these days, but sadly, his favorite spot is struggling to keep up.

"There's a lot of different things that we could do if we had more employees," said Wings Over Broadway owner, JJ Esquibel.

Wings Over Broadway recently scaled back their hours and decided to completely close on Mondays. Social distancing signs are still posted on tables. Esquibel said this is partly because they don't have enough staff to serve a full house.

"I don't want to stress out or overwork the employees that I do have. That's been the biggest struggle," said Esquibel.

Esquibel said he has worked hard to hire new staff, but interest has been low.

"I think people are comfortable with the unemployment benefits that they're receiving. In order to get the same amount of money that unemployment is making, an employee would have be making $15 an hour and working basically full-time," said Esquibel.

Arizonans will no longer be eligible for federal unemployment benefits on July 10, 2021. Esquibel hopes that is when things will turn around. Until then, he has one request for his customers.

"Be patient with not just ourselves, but other restaurants and other businesses for that matter. Maybe allow more time when you go out eat. Just know that the people we do have here working are trying their best," said Esquibel.