Shortages of Food, Cooks and Managers

Closing Early

At 2:39 PM on the 21st day of our westbound 2021 Cross Country Adventure, we finally stopped for lunch.

As we travel back and forth across the country, we often eat at Denny’s. We like their value and predictable quality. I enjoy their senior omelet and Donna Lee likes their salmon dinner.

Donna Lee went inside to get seated, as I continued to look for a place to park. Parking our twenty-eight-foot RV with the Mini-Cooper in tow can be a daunting task. It all adds to the adventure.

This Denny’s is part of a JB’s Truck Stop with lots of space for big rigs, or so we thought. There wasn’t one available spot. I finally double parked out back in front of the cardboard crusher. I told the manager where I parked and asked her to let me know if it created a problem.

When I finally got inside, Donna Lee said, “Let me show you what the waitress handed me.” It was a list (see picture) of all the menu items they were out of. They hoped the next overdue delivery truck would be full. We ordered what we could. Before we were finished eating, the manager came in to tell us she was in trouble. The district manager said we had to move the RV now; off we went with our lunches in “to-go” boxes.

On July 7th, after zigzagging in and out of difficult Riverdale, UT traffic, I got parked in a shopping center parking lot near a Denny’s. When we walked in, the host greeted us with, “It will be a 45-minute wait.” I said, “OK!” I wasn’t going through the parking drill again. There were just a few people in the restaurant. I didn’t understand why we couldn’t be seated. The host told us they were short of kitchen help.

Our last Denny’s stop on the westbound leg of our trip was July 10th at The Dalles, OR location. We got there at about 3:00 PM. I noticed the restaurant was almost empty. Anyone could tell our waitress was new. She started clearing away our places and asked,

“Could you go ahead and take care of your bill? We’re closing at 4.”
“Really? I thought you were open 24 hours.”
“We have to close because there’s no manager for the night shift.

Now is the time to strengthen your leadership and communication skills. If you don’t, you may be “Closing Early.”

Improve your leadership and communication skills. If you don’t, you may have to “close early.”

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