As Restaurants Open Outdoors, Many Workers in No Hurry to Return

As Restaurants Open Outdoors, Many Workers in No Hurry to Return

CENTRAILIA (WILY) – Restaurants in Illinois are now able to offer outdoor dining, but some may find it difficult to coax wait staff back to work.

The New York Times estimated workers in more than half of states will receive more in unemployment benefits that they did from their normal salaries.

With restaurant workers receiving state benefits, a $600 weekly boost from the federal government, and assistance from sources like the Restaurant Employees Relief Fund, many are in no hurry to return.

Alexis Stuebis, a bartender at Hendricks BBQ in St. Charles, Missouri, a place frequented by Illinoisans eager for dine-in service, said she wanted to come back to work but some of her coworkers would rather stay home.

“I was nervous because everybody is excited about unemployment. You’re getting $600 to $1,200 a [week], so no one wants to come back to work,” Stuebis said. “That’s what is hard is not being able to get days off.”

Joe Slane, general manager of Medici’s in Normal, IL, said the new seating regulations may be the saving grace when it comes to staffing.

“Summertime is usually our busiest time of the year,” Slane said. “With the limited seating capacity inside and outside, we won’t require as many workers as we normally do.”

Illinois restaurants will be able to offer dine-in service beginning June 26, when more staff will be needed.