ORMOND BEACH, Fla. - As restaurants reopen to diners, owners are now pulling back in their staff.
Greg Evans had to lay off all employees at his beachside diner in Ormond Beach.
“We immediately laid everybody off and that was hard to do when you’ve been in business for 34 years and they’re all like family,” he said.
He’s since started to hire them back. But, it’s been an uphill battle. Simply, he can’t afford to have them all back - at least not to the same capacity.
He’s beefing up the schedule depending on customer demand.
“This week we’ve slowly brought some servers back and a couple kitchen staff and our goal is to bring everybody back but we know that in the end we probably won’t,” he said.
He said while most want to come back, some are getting paid more to stay home.
“So I have employees that if they come back to work full time, they will make less money than if they stay on unemployment... so some of them are making that decision,” he explained.
Others have found other work.
“There’s a couple that said I’m never coming back which is disappointing, but I understand they have to move on,” he said.
Evans has now received his PPE money and working through the logistics to figure out how to reunite his work family.
“There may be a way to pay people more than they make. If a waitress makes $5 an hour then maybe I can pay them $10 an hour. So if that’s what it takes, that’s what i’ll do,” he said.