Worker shortage hitting Twin Falls fast food restaurants

A quick search of local fast food restaurant reviews brings up several mentions of long wait times.
Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 9:36 AM MDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 9:37 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Take a stroll down Blue Lakes Boulevard and what you’ll see are signs from businesses who say they are hiring. Many of those businesses are fast food restaurants, which are simultaneously dealing with high demand for their services and not having enough workers to keep up.

Chick-Fil-A in Twin Falls has a drive-thru that is regularly packed with cars. Their Marketing Director Cera Lott said staffing has been an issue ever since the pandemic.

“Our location has done okay with hiring, but I feel like we’re struggling like everyone else,” said Lott.

It’s in the drive-thru where customers have felt the effects of staffing shortages, as a quick search of local fast food restaurant reviews brings up several mentions of long wait times.

Riley Winger is the Human Resources Director at Chick-Fil-A. She said during the pandemic, their dining room and carryout were closed, which meant customers relied on drive-thrus. That’s a trend which she believes has continued to this day.

“Our drive-thru is always busy. There’s been a shift towards mostly drive-thru because they didn’t want to go inside, which I don’t blame them,” said Winger.

When KMVT searched for “fast food” jobs within five miles of Twin Falls on the job search website Indeed, 93 openings returned, ranging from entry-level part-time positions all the way to general managers.

In order to help fill the void at their restaurant, Chick-Fil-A is doing open interviews on Tuesday from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. It’s a process as simple as showing up and bringing your resume.

“We’ll have you fill out an application and we’ll interview you and/or hire you on the spot,” said Winger.

But, despite the obstacles facing the industry, Winger has found customers have more respect for how hard fast-food employees work to serve their food in a timely manner.

“During the craziness, we had a lot of people saying ‘thank you’ or ‘you’re appreciated,” said Winger.

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