GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — If you have dined at a local restaurant in the last few months, you may have experienced longer wait times and noticed fewer servers.

Restaurants all across the Piedmont Triad are feeling the effects of a labor shortage, and the shortage of employees is causing a strain on current workers.

Restaurants are being forced to shorten business hours, and some have even had to close.

Passing through Battleground Avenue in Greensboro, you may have noticed the empty parking lot and the signs posted on all doors at Burger Warfare.

They read: “Currently closed due to staffing needs in our various hospitality operations.”

The owner tells FOX8 that there are two problems:

  • many workers have dropped out of the restaurant business
  • the COVID-19 pandemic changed how people look at their work-life balance

That’s left fewer employees available to fill those jobs.

As of now the owner of Burger Warfare, Marty Kotis, isn’t sure when or if the restaurant will reopen.

He says that while he loves the Burger Warfare concept, there are so many other burger places in Greensboro, so they have to make sure it’s the best fit for the city.

According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, in 2021, The State of North Carolina had around 500,000 restaurant workers. Now there are around 39,000 fewer with nearly half leaving the industry, one-third leaving the workforce entirely and the remainder choosing not to transfer to other jobs in the restaurant sector.

However, there is a glimmer of hope.

Darryl’s on Gate City Boulevard in Greensboro just extended its closing time by one hour nightly. It now closes at 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends.

We also reached out to the owner of The Buther’s Block who recently closed its Winston=Salem location.

He told FOX8 that parking issues and a lack of people returning to work hurt the business.

They plan to focus on their flagship location in Lexington. They also plan to open an online store in the next few months.