WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — With COVID cases ramping up and local businesses still experiencing a decline in staffing, many local restaurant owners are left struggling to stay afloat.
Back in March of 2020 many of these owners had to get creative on how they operated their business and just when things were starting to feel “normal”, these same owners are having to think outside the box once again.
For 24 years, Rebecca Rutledge has seen great success with Deli Planet, and it was only two years ago that Rutledge was forced to re-evaluate how she operates her establishment due to COVID restrictions, now she’s faced with a new problem, staffing.
“Our new hours are going to be like 630 am to 445 pm instead of being 11 am to 9 pm, we’re switching it up due to the lack of staff that we have, mostly cooks for our night shifts,” Deli Planet owner, Rebecca Rutledge said.
And Rutledge isn’t alone, in fact, Gypsy Kit owner Tagan Couch is experiencing the same problem, causing her to bring back an idea that helped bring in extra income for her restaurant back in March of 2020, her premade casseroles available for pick up.
“We’re not getting a lot of the products that we typically would get for our regular menu so this gives us the ability to be creative and come up with new casseroles every day and offer something different to the community every day,” Couch said.
During the pandemic shutdown in early 2020, Couch had to get creative by selling casseroles, fast forward two years later and due to a staffing shortage, she’s back at square one.
“I think everyone is trying to make the best of a bad situation or a hard situation and currently we’re doing the best that we can by changing everything up once again,” Couch said.
A bad situation that is leaving Couch and Rutledge reminding folks of just how important shopping and eating local is for local businesses.
“Most of the restaurants that we deal with still do curbside delivery, still do to-gos, and are changing every day to accommodate all of our community so just get out there and help all of these local businesses succeed,” Couch said.
“Spend your money locally you’re going to support local families, I have right now four cooks and nine front staff so yall are supporting nine families including me and my husband, and it’s very important,” Rutledge said.
So while you’re out eating at a local restaurant, not only are you feeding your family, you’re helping an employee keep food on their own table.
Deli Planet’s new hours will go into effect on January 18th, click here for more information on Deli Planet.
Gypsy Kit’s casseroles are available right now and are first come first serve, click here for more information on Gypsy Kit.