‘Food brings people together’: Amid staff shortage, Jack’s Restaurant to offer new dinner menu next month

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 4:44 PM EDT
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RAPID RIVER, Mich. (WLUC) - Restaurants are still struggling to find staff two and a half years after the pandemic’s start. Bobbi Ryan, the owner of Jack’s Restaurant, is changing her perspective.

For Ryan, food is family.

“Food brings people together. [It] makes people happy and whatever – so if I can’t figure out how to get it served one way, I’m going to try to get it served another way,” said Ryan. “It’s been going on for a long time. Everybody struggles with it, and I don’t want to focus on that anymore. I want to focus on the fun, bring people together, [and the] positive side of cooking.”

Jack’s is celebrating its 80th anniversary in May. Instead of closing in hard times, Ryan found a solution.

“It’s tradition and like I said, food brings people together and I want to bring people together,” said Ryan. “That’s my thing. It’s important for me to be open and have a place for people to gather.”

Jack’s regular menu will be served all week long. But from Monday through Thursday, a special menu will be offered after 2:00 p.m.

“The standard menu will be ribs, brisket, pork and chicken. Then we’ll do things with those like nachos, tacos, whatever,” said Ryan.

That means Jack’s traditional dinner menu will not be available Monday through Thursday after 2 p.m.

“So the die-hards will have to get their roast beef and mashed potatoes before 2:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday but other than that, fish fries stay the same. Saturday night stays the same, Sunday dinner,” said Ryan.

Ryan is aiming to implement this change beginning Oct.10 so Jack’s can continue to be a place to gather around good food.