Pandemic causes some Tuscaloosa restaurants to struggle

Local News
Christmas Day
December 25 2021 12:00 am

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The coronavirus pandemic continues to cause problems for businesses. Some new restaurants are opening in Tuscaloosa while others are having to close.

Rodney Ramsey is one of the owners of the Slim Chickens restaurant on Skyland Boulevard in Tuscaloosa. The business opened Monday and Ramsey says many customers have been flocking to the restaurant.

“It’s exciting to have folks wanting to come out and eat,” said Ramsey. “We’ve had a great response so far and the customers are happy and excited to see us and the employees are happy to be part of something new.”

But it is a completely different situation for Depalma’s Italian Cafe in downtown Tuscaloosa. The 26 year old business shut down recently and posted on social media the reason for the shutdown was due to labor shortage. CBS 42 reached out for a comment, but the business did not return our phone call.

Homer Perry says he can relate to Depalma’s struggles. He is the owner of the Southland restaurant in Tuscaloosa County. He is open again, but had to close down a few times due to a lack of workers.

“Trying to make sure we have enough employees because it’s been tough, everyday it’s something different.  It’s driving the prices and costs up and some customers are scared to come in,” said Perry.

Rodney Ramsey at Slim Chickens is hoping COVID-19 will not interfere with his business. All his employees are required to get a vaccination shot. If they don’t, the workers will have to wear a mask.

“We understand the safety side of it and we expect our folks to be vaccinated and if they are vaccinated, they don’t have to wear a mask and that’s where we are right now its our policy,” said Ramsey.

Slim Chickens hired more than 100 workers to staff the new restaurant.

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