‘A day to rest’ – Charlotte restaurant employees working 60-hour weeks, getting PTO, cash bonus to keep happy

North Carolina news

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WJZY) – A worker shortage is forcing some businesses to come up with ways to prevent the staff they do have from quitting.

“We have been busy. We have not stopped at all,” bartender Rachel Weaver said.

Weaver has been putting in hours behind the bar at Mac’s Speed Shop in Charlotte. Sometimes she works up to 60 hours a week.

“Hectic, but you got to do what you got to do whenever something like that goes down,” she said.

Company president Shang Skipper said pre-pandemic he had about 540 staff across all locations. Because of an uptick in sales, they had to hire more. Despite the fact that they now employ about 700 workers, restaurants are still understaffed.

“You got a lot of people sitting here working overtime, that are doing doubles. Some of our doubles can be up to 14-hour days. Get here, do it, and you are doing that two, three times a week, and when you don’t have help, you just got to do what you got to do to keep the restaurant,” Weaver said.

Full schedules and long days have forced some employees to walk away from the job.

“We have seen people who were scheduled a double, who worked the first part of the double, and just never came back. When we finally get in touch with them, ‘It’s too much, I’m tired. It’s too many hours,” Skipper said.

To encourage staff to stay on the job, Skipper and his team decided to show appreciation and give employees a cash bonus, free meals, four-day workweeks, and a paid day off.

“I’m so excited. You know, you couldn’t ask for something any better… to say thank you for how hard we are working, to give us that time, kind of like we all get the chance to do stuff together and especially to have it paid. We will definitely take it,” Weaver said.

Skipper said the company needs to hire about 50 to 75 more employees for hours to get back to normal.

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