3 Chick-fil-A restaurants in Alabama have closed their dining rooms because they can’t find enough staff. One called it a ‘hiring crisis.’

Chick fil a pandemic
The restaurants in McCalla and Madison both said that they were working to reopen their dining rooms. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images
  • Three Alabama Chick-fil-A restaurants have closed their dining rooms because of the labor shortage.
  • One of the Chick-fil-A restaurants said staff were “exhausted” trying to keep up with demand.
  • All three will continue serving food via collection and delivery.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

At least three Chick-fil-A restaurants in Alabama are shutting their dining rooms because of the US labor shortage.

The restaurants in McCalla, Madison, and Calera, which will continue serving food via collection and delivery, said that they wanted to reopen their dining rooms “as quickly as possible” but didn’t have a date for when this could happen.

All three said their staff were exhausted.

“We, along with many businesses, are in the middle of a hiring crisis,” the Calera restaurant, which was the first to make the move, said in a Facebook post Friday.

The restaurant said that it was doing “everything” it could to hire more staff, but that far fewer people than normal were applying for jobs.

Some applicants weren’t showing up to interviews, and some accepted a job “only to resign within their first couple weeks,” it said.

“Unfortunately Chick-fil-A is not immune to this labor shortage,” the restaurant said.

As well as closing its dining room, the restaurant said it would stop offering mobile curbside ordering and mobile carryout. Drive-thru and mobile drive-thru are still available, it added.

Read more: 
How a tiny food-tech startup convinced industry heavyweights like Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell to rely on it to fight a labor shortage

The Madison and McCalla restaurants both made a similar announcement Saturday.

The McCalla restaurant said in a Facebook post that it was “unable to schedule enough team members to provide the excellent service that our guests deserve.” This was happening ahead of the “busiest time of the year,” it said, when high school and university students return to school.

It said that it would close its dining room from Monday but would continue to serve customers at its drive-thru and through mobile curbside orders.

Workers are ‘exhausted’

All three Chick-fil-A restaurants said that current workers were worn out.

“Our team cannot continue at the pace we are at,” the McCalla restaurant said. “Our team members are exhausted and there is no relief for them in our roster.”

Other restaurants have cut their opening hours or temporarily closed, in some cases for days, because they simply can’t find enough servers.

Read more: 
Dirty jobs, decent pay: How to score one of the federal government’s most challenging career opportunities. (Strong stomach required.)

To attract more workers, some restaurants have raised wages or offered sign-on bonuses, leading to pricier meals.

The labor shortage has led to reports of burnt-out workers who are having to work longer hours or do more tasks than usual, especially as diners flock back to restaurants amid the reopening of the economy.

Farm Burger, a small burger chain in the Southeast, is closing some of its restaurants for one day a week “just for everybody to kind of take a break,” owner George Frangos told Insider.

The labor shortage “affects our team physically, emotionally, it makes it hard just to do the job that we’re trying to do on a daily basis,” he added.

Do you work in the restaurant industry? Got a story? Email this reporter at [email protected]