SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah (ABC4) – The ripple effect of the pandemic continues to take a toll on locally owned small businesses. Supply chain issues and staffing challenges has a Smokehouse BBQ and Grill in Utah County struggling to stay open.
Sean Hintze owns Sean’s Smokehouse BBQ & Grill tells ABC4 that they’ve had to operate on limited hours because of employees not showing up to work and overall labor shortage.
But that’s not the only issue, Hintze says they have trouble getting basic restaurant needs like paper plates, cups, and lids in…most importantly he says meat has also been hard to come by.
As COVID has affected many aspects of the economy Hintze says the last two years have been tough. “We’ve been shorted on brisket and pork and turkey in numerous orders…it’s been a nightmare” says Hintze.
The combination of these obstacles nearly pushed Hintze to close the restaurant’s doors for good.
Following a post on Facebook on Monday, stating that they would need to close the response from the community has made Hintze re-consider that option “we posted on Monday that we were going to be closing and within 24 hours from the community that they didn’t want us to close.”
Some community members and local businesses even offering a helping hand Hintze tells ABC4.
According to the latest data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics at the end of December. 2021, job openings increased in several industries. The most noteable is the food service industry, but over 130,000. There were 6.3 million who either quit, or got laid off from their job.
The bureau says 4.5 million people actually quit their job.
Sean Hintze says for 12 years the people of Saratoga Springs and surrounding areas have supported the restaurant and because of that he’s done a lot to showing the same support from giving back to local schools to making military and first responders feel a warm welcome whenever they step foot inside his business.
But despite the supply chain disruptions and staffing challenges, Hintze says he’s not throwing in the towel yet “we’re going to do everything we can to stay open.”