DES MOINES, Iowa — Don't let the hours on the restaurant's door fool you— some of their hours may not have adequate staffing.
That's what Centro in Des Moines is learning as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Due to lack of staff, the restaurant is only open for lunch on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
“If I don’t have enough people to manage a shift I don’t open," said Paul Rottenberg, co-owner of Centro in downtown Des Moines.
Rottenberg, who's been in the hospitality business for 45 years, told Local 5's Lakyn McGee he's never had to close up a restaurant like this before.
In addition to only being open for lunch service Friday-Sunday, the restaurant scaled back weekday shifts and is only open for dinner service.
Normally opened seven days a week, Rottenberg said he's been seeing more foot traffic but less staff in every restaurant he partners with.
"Last time we totaled the open positions we had across the Orchestrate Properties it's over 100 positions," Rottenberg said.
According to the Iowa Restaurant Association, 87% of Iowa restaurants have stretched current employee hours to perform more duties while more than 50% are choosing to not operate at full capacity.
As for Rottenberg, he has had to turn multiple customers away due to the lack of servers, and he said he doesn't see this changing any time soon.
“It’s going to take maybe 12 to 18 months for us to see this situation level out,” explained Rottenberg.
Rottenberg said something needs to be done at the state level to make a change.
Back in June, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds officially ended federal unemployment benefits to Iowans in an effort to get more people back into the workforce.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated with the owner's clarification that Centro is open for lunch Friday-Sunday. His original quote said they were not open at all those days.