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If you're going out to eat, here's what to expect in Tampa with staffing shortages

Some bars and restaurants are struggling to keep staff and some people are noticing longer wait times when going out.

TAMPA, Fla — As omicron spreads, some businesses are having a hard time keeping a full staff.

CBS News reported in early January almost 9 million Americans said they were not working because they had COVID-19 or were caring for someone with the virus — triple the number from a month ago.  

Local businesses in Tampa said they were dealing with staffing shortages. 

“For the most part we’re good on staffing. For a while there, for a few months, it was rough. Managers pretty much alone were holding the place together," said Bradley Strickland, one of the general managers for the Press Box.

Strickland explained the Press Box, an eatery on Dale Mabry in Tampa, has a few openings, but not near the number of openings they had a few months ago. 

Like many, restaurant staff have been impacted by omicron and workers have been out sick. Even with the variant, Strickland explained the Press Box is back on track with their staff.

While the restaurant is back on track, Strickland acknowledges some businesses struggle with staffing shortages. 

“We’re lucky to have the staff we have and to be crawling out of this issue that every restaurant has found themselves in, some restaurants aren’t," Strickland added. 

Some people said they are noticing when they go out to eat that there are longer wait times. 

“We went out to dinner and there was a long wait time. We spent about 45 minutes waiting for our food and our beverages," Steven Desjarlais explained.

Desjarlais said at a Mexican restaurant he went to in Tampa, there weren't enough cooks. 

"The staff said his wife had to come and help cook the food," Desjarlais added. 

Strickland could relate because he recalled being so short-staffed months back that management had to step in. 

"Managers pretty much alone were holding the place together," Strickland explained.

Strickland said the Press Box is ready for a big crowd this weekend. 

“For a while, I was worried but not we’re ready. I’m confident in this year," Strickland stated. 

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