Too tired to work

Jasmine Villegas, Lifestyle Staff Reporter

As servers clean the final tables of the night, the clock nearly hits closing time. There’s a wave of relief within the restaurant until customers come in two minutes before closing wanting to be served. 

A lot of restaurants around Indianapolis are severely understaffed and are struggling to keep their doors open for customers that come in frequently throughout the day and night. Many restaurants are finding it very difficult to hire people because of factors like starting pay, location and management. 

One restaurant that has this certain issue is the Pizza King on Bluff Road. This location has had many staff members come and go in the past, but it now has a total of only 14 working employees on the entire roster. This really affects the restaurant because they depend on a small amount of people to get a lot of work done.

Due to the small number of staff members, employees of Pizza King often have to stay later than intended. 

“We get nothing done in time and almost always leave at 9:30 or later when we close at 9:00,” manager of Pizza King and PMHS student Kate Barlow said.

At the end of the night, only a couple employees remain to get the whole kitchen ready for the next day. It doesn’t help that a lot of the staff are also teenagers who have school the next day but still need to stay late in order for everything to be done.

“Because it’s so understaffed, they overwork me so I’m tired all the time. I work five days a week, and we’re even closed for one of them,” server Kaidence Biggs said.

Managers have to train a lot of the staff to do multiple jobs because there just aren’t enough employees for them to stick to only one. One employee can learn up to five jobs at Pizza King, and can be moved from one job to another throughout the shift depending on need. Employees find this troubling, but they usually stick to their one job throughout the weekday. 

However, the weekend is a different story.  

“We have a lot of the staff scheduled for the weekends because we don’t have enough people to get shifts covered,” manager Mario Reyes said. “If someone needs to be off that day, then they’ll find someone who’s trained on that job and move them there.” 

A lot of employees are used to being overworked at this point and still tend to ask for more shifts because of the money they can earn. With that, they’re a lot more tired than employees should be, and only have a day or two to recover before their next shift. 

“I only have two days off during the entire week, and I have to take doubles during the weekend so I can’t even enjoy them a lot of the time,” Barlow said. 

Everyone has a part to play at the restaurant, and until they can find more employees, they’ll have to stick with the schedule they have now. Even if that means working non-stop to get the job done.