U.P. restaurants look to rebound in 2022 amid pandemic setbacks

The Moose Jackson Café in Iron Mountain and Fob’s Restaurant in Crystal Falls are among those hiring
The Moose Jackson Café in Iron Mountain and Fob’s Restaurant in Crystal Falls are among those hiring.
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 5:44 PM EST
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DICKINSON & IRON COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - You may have noticed longer wait times and restaurants being short-staffed because of the pandemic. Now, local employers are looking to make up for the lost time.

“Help wanted” signs still hang in almost every business in the U.S. Bringing people back to work has been difficult for small restaurants like Fob’s in Crystal Falls.

“COVID hit, the shutdowns, and calling back of people. People are scared, and a lot of people didn’t come back,” said Kayla Ort, Fob’s Restaurant Waitress.

Ort says Fob’s is hiring for almost every position. She is concerned because the demand will only grow.

“Summer is big. This is our wintertime. We don’t need excessive staff, but during the summertime, we need the help,” Ort explained.

During the pandemic, Fob’s Restaurant had to cut back on hours and menu offerings.

“We weren’t getting rid of food fast enough, and that’s a lot of money thrown away,” Ort said.

In Iron Mountain, small cafes like Moose Jackson have made adjustments too. The summer of 2021 became overwhelming.

“We usually hire people 21 [years old] and over to work the counter, and we were hiring kids in high school just to have bodies,” said Eden Caudell, Moose Jackson Café Owner.

Now, the café is still looking to hire baristas and kitchen staff. Caudell says customer support has prevented the café from having to cut back its services.

“I am grateful every day just to still be here,” Caudell said.

Slowly, businesses like Fob’s and Moose Jackson are looking to rebound.

“We are just trying to get our staff back. Our goal is to open full-time again. We are bringing some new menu options, and experimenting with new desserts,” Ort said.

Right now, Fob’s closes between 1 p.m. CT and 4 p.m. CT because of staffing. Moose Jackson still operates on its normal schedule. Both Fob’s Restaurant and Moose Jackson Café say if you are interested in applying, you should visit them to pick up applications.

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