Longtime Virginia Beach restaurant temporarily closes due to staffing shortage, rising costs

Business

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Virginia Beach restaurant is temporarily closing its doors because they can’t find enough people to work.

Brass Bell Steakhouse located off Independence Boulevard and Pleasure House Road doesn’t plan to reopen again until September when unemployment benefits end. They said the staffing shortage and rising costs led to the decision.

The restaurant has been in business for 43 years, but it’s temporarily closed.

“You can only go so far with so few people,” said Jack Davis, general manager.

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Davis said they have the customers but not enough staff. Hiring new employees hasn’t been easy either.

“I was getting three to four to five applications a week maybe and then 99% of the time that person never showed up for the interview,” he said.

They’ve struggled to keep up with the demand and even changed the restaurant’s hours to stay afloat with the employees they do have.

“We need to be open day and night in order for this business to succeed,” Davis said. “The way things are right now, we are just going to run the staff that we have into the ground.

On top of that, Davis said they’re dealing with higher product costs and sometimes limited availability.

“Our prices have doubled on a lot of the stuff,” he said. “It’s just hard to combat that without raising the prices so far that the customer can’t afford to come in.”

Brass Bell is hopeful they’ll be able to hire a full staff once the increased unemployment benefits expire.

Davis said it’s a short-term loss for long-term success.

“This ain’t the first time we faced adversity, but you know what, we come back stronger and we plan on doing that as soon as we can get enough people back in here to do it,” he said.

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