Golden Corral CEO says restaurants having 'most difficult' time in terms of staffing
Lance Trenary also explains how his buffets changed during the COVID pandemic
Golden Corral CEO Lance Trenary said it has been "incredibly" hard filling positions in his restaurants, stressing that "this is the most difficult time" he has experienced in terms of staffing in his more than 40-year career in the industry.
"We currently have over 5,000 open coworker positions throughout our company," Trenary told "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" on Thursday. "We have 125 management positions."
"You can imagine trying to run one of these shifts in a restaurant that’s serving 5, 6, 7,000 meals a day and doing it short staffed. It’s incredibly difficult," he continued, noting that it’s a problem "across the industry right now."
Trenary stressed that he is "focused on innovative ways" to try to get people to apply.
The total number of job openings stood at a seasonally adjusted 10.439 million at the end of August, according to the Labor Department’s Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey, or JOLTS.
LADY GAGA'S DAD SHARES STRUGGLES OF BEING AN NYC RESTAURANT OWNER AMID PANDEMIC: DELIVERY IS 'NOT ENOUGH'
Trenary said it has been hard to staff restaurants at a time when demand is increasing as economies have reopened.
"We are back to about 2019 levels," he noted, acknowledging the company lost some restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic, which he said "was very devastating on our revenue lines."
He also pointed out that "franchisees really worked hard to make sure they found innovative ways to serve our guests."
GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE
Trenary stressed that "the early days of the pandemic were incredibly challenging across the entire buffet industry so we had to pivot very quickly."
"We had to think differently," he continued. "We had to find out what our customers were willing to risk when they came into our restaurants, what kind of things would they be willing to change in our restaurants."
Trenary said his restaurants started to offer "a no-touch service buffet" during the pandemic and "tried about six different prototype changes," which included direct entree service and bringing buffet items to tables.
He said that "as soon as we were able to get the buffet going again," customers "really started showing up in our restaurants," which helped the company recover over the last 18 months.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM FOX BUSINESS
FOX Business’ Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.