Eastern Iowa restaurants urging customers to be nice

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 5:50 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -A shortage of workers is leading to short tempers, prompting at least one eastern Iowa restaurant owner to beg customers to be nice.

KCRG-TV9 reported for weeks now on restaurants struggling to hire enough staff. Not enough staff can mean slower service. That’s making for angry customers piling on over-worked staff.

Server Colleen Luksetich with Hacienda Las Glorias is putting in extra hours to keep customers happy.

“I always end up staying overtime for my break,” she said. “Because we’re constantly busy, constantly getting people in.”

They’re short-staffed like many restaurants opening back up. Owner Edgar Barrios doesn’t know why he’s having a hard time hiring.

“We paying well over minimum wage,” he said. “There is nobody starting here less than 10 dollars an hours.”

So workers like Luksetich are on their feet all day trying to pick up the slack. She says some customers don’t understand that. They call them names.

“Customers can kind of be rude when we’re trying to get everything ready for them,” she said. “Some things may take a bit slower because we are short staffed and we are trying to keep up with orders and everything. Just not the greatest names that you can think of, no the nicest things.”

Rude customers led to Barrios making a post on Facebook urging customers to be kind. He says it’s an issue at restaurants across eastern Iowa.

“I talk to other managers, owners and we’re all going through the same thing,” he said. “We don’t have enough staff. We’re working a lot of hours, and people don’t see what we’re doing to please everybody.”

Luksetich also wants customers to be kind.

“You know we’re trying our best,” she said. “We’re trying to get things out to you as fast as we can, nothing personal or anything, just trying our best.”

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