Local businesses suffering because of low staffing issues

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Local businesses are suffering extreme levels of understaffing and are having to change up their business models on the fly.

Short staffed is a phrase many of us are hearing quite often now.

Lisa’s 5th Street Diner in Bowling Green has announced the diner will be closed Wednesday due to low staffing issues.

Currently, the grill cook has worked 10 days in a row.

William Parker, the son of the owner, Lisa Parker, who is currently battling cancer, says he is working all he can for for mom while she battle cancer.

“It’s all I can do. I do it for one person. That woman has fought 20 years with the same cancer, and it’s slowly killing her,” said William Parker.

The manager of the location, Sarah Duff, and best friend of Lisa, says the employee shortage has been increasingly difficult with new hires not even showing up for their first day.

Duff says current employees are scared that the business will close for good, but she is determined to avoid that at all costs.

“It just tears you apart. You are just doing the best you can to keep everybody in a job where you won’t have to close because some of them is so paranoid that we’re going to close the doors and you’re doing the best. And then I’m calling Lisa and, you know, we are trying to figure this thing out and then, it’s just very emotional,” said Duff.

Vilson Qehaja, the owner of Anna’s Greek Restaurant has suffered during the shortage as well.

He is now pleading with patrons to make reservations instead of just walking in as usual to help the few staff they have to spread out the flow of customers.

“Just basically wherever you need, you work for three people, four people, so it puts a lot of pressure on the people you have to be able to handle the business,” said Qehaja.

Qehaja and Duff says they are thankful for their workers putting in the extra effort but asks the public to be patient when dining.

“It’s going to kill me but as long as she’s happy I’m happy,” said William Parker.

And these businesses aren’t outliers, the trend of short staffing seems to be hitting the majority of restaurants, retail businesses and more around South Central Kentucky.