Many businesses are having to close down early or pivot their hours because of staffing challenges brought on by the omicron variant. Some restaurants are even having to temporarily close down because of it and fear the closure could be permanent.
"We wish to continue, but in times like this, if we've got to temporarily close. It's just because there’s nothing we can, unfortunately, do for now," said Dario Gallo owner of CIVICO By the Park and CIVICO 1845.
Despite the beautiful architecture inside Civico By the Park, the owner of the Bankers Hill Italian restaurant says he's decided to temporarily shut down and its future is up in the air. Gallo explains how at first, like many other restaurants dealing with staffing issues, they began reducing hours and days, then came the winter, and as they hoped to book holiday parties and end-of-year events they were faced with many cancelations.
Then add the obstacles brought on by the omicron variant which is leading to many sick calls and fewer patrons, it is making it tough for a business to stay open.
"So, you’re already right there with your staff, on top of that when one, two people need to quarantine you go even more under staff and it gets pretty much impossible," said Gallo.
While the choice is a difficult one, Gallo shares how he's fortunate to have another restaurant Civico 1845 in Little Italy which he hopes will survive this pandemic as the family-run business is putting its main focus on its success.
Many restaurants are facing similar issues and some restaurant owners are hopeful business will pick up in February with Valentine's Day and that COVID-19 cases rapidly decline.