U.S | Major Brands Cut Hours Due to Staff Shortages

Several major restaurant chains are cutting back on hours and services to deal with the challenges caused by the double whammy of surging omicron cases and continued labour shortages.

In an email sent to customers last weekend, Starbucks told guests that their Starbucks experience “might look a little different these days,” as certain locations are experiencing reduced hours, product shortages and/or temporary halts on mobile pay capabilities, as more workers call in sick.

As compensation for these service disturbances, the company said it would be postponing Starbucks Rewards members’ stars until April 1.

Starbucks is not the only chain experiencing issues. In an October earnings call, McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski warned that shortened hours may be coming due to staffing shortages.

“It is putting some pressure on things like operating hours, where we might be dialling back late night for example from what we would ordinarily be doing,” he said at the time, adding that lack of staff is also putting pressure on speed of service.

Other companies are feeling the labour crunch too, like Chipotle and Shake Shack.

"No one is immune to it," Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti told investors at a recent conference, referring to worker shortages impacting guest services.