Augusta restaurants combat staffing issues ahead of golf week
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As Masters week gets closer, local restaurants are preparing for the influx of people coming into town.
We spoke with restaurant managers about what they’re doing to prepare and how they are dealing with lingering staffing issues.
Managers and owners of some restaurants at the Surrey Center and on Washington Road say they are offering hiring incentives and lots of training to get new employees up to speed with what Masters week looks like to make sure they are well prepared.
For local restaurants, it’s the busiest week of the year. The week they train and prepare for all year long.
“We’ve been preparing since January 1st, so everything. But, you know, there are always curveballs. So we’ve learned to hit a lot of curveballs in the past,” said Henry Scheer, TBonz Steakhouse owner.
Shire says those curveballs don’t usually involve staffing because their veterans are eager to come help out.
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“We’ve been very lucky that we’ve had a lot of loyal employees that have left us but come back during the week of the Masters,” he said.
But for French Market Grille, staffing’s an ongoing challenge.
“In this day and age, as you can tell, that’s been difficult,” said General Manager Benton Turner.
And through that difficulty, Turner says with months of strategic planning they’ve still managed to get their roster well-staffed for next week.
“Sometimes we’ll put an ad out, you know, like a promoted ad on Facebook or social media, whatever that may be,” he said. “What we are doing is providing incentives, certain incentives that are specific to that position.”
Once they’re fully staffed, both restaurants say it’s all about the training for both new and vetted team members.
“We start having Masters training sessions weekly on Wednesdays. So we go about it that way,” he said.
Scheer said: “All we do is practice, practice, practice. And then when the time comes, it seems natural.”
And while it’s the busiest week for them, it’s also very exciting. These restaurants tell us they’re ready for the crowds. You never know who will walk through the door.
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