After months of managing operations while short-staffed, Beth Lagomarcino, co-owner of Lagomarcino’s, and her business partners decided something had to give.
“There aren't enough hands on deck or enough hours in the day,” Lagomarcino said. “We do need to sleep, too.”
Both Lagomarcino’s locations, in Davenport and Moline, are suspending restaurant lunch services because of staffing shortages. The stores will still be open to customers, who will be able to order ice cream to-go and purchase chocolate and candies. The Moline shop will pause lunch services on Sept. 18, and Davenport will do the same on Sept. 20. They are hoping to restart full operations this spring, according to Lagomarcino.
Despite hiring four new employees, Lagomarcino estimates that they are still six employees below ideal staff size, which makes it too difficult to continue lunch services while keeping up with candy production for the holidays.
“My husband and I have been doing food prep this week, in addition to making candy, and running the store,” Lagomarcino said. “We aren't able to keep that up and do what's expected of us.”
Lagomarcino’s is just one of many businesses in the Quad-Cities, and across the nation, that are feeling the impacts of the Great American Labor Shortage. Similar to other local businesses, Lagomarcino said the limited pool of potential hires have not shown up to interviews, refused to follow COVID-19 protocols or quit.
“I've never seen it like this,” Lagomarcino said. “But I feel pretty good with the staff that I have going forward.”
The staffing shortage is compounded by other challenges related to the pandemic, according to Lagomarcino. Supply chain shortages have increased the prices of fudge jars and made it more difficult to get sufficient supplies.
“At this time every business has had to pivot,” Lagomarcino said. “It might have been a hard decision, but everybody's comfortable going forward, and we hope to be back soon.”