BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For the first time in 100 years, Santasiero’s Restaurant had to shut down for four days because of a lack of staff.
“To give the employees a mental health break, because they are so overwhelmed, we are short staffed, they are trying to do everything they can and they’re just overworked,” Operator of Santasiero’s, John Brands Jr. said.
“We were just kind of running to catch up and we just needed the time off to catch up,” Manager of Santasiero’s, Nicholas Perri, said.
Brands said he and his limited staff has had to take on many roles to keep the doors open.
“They’ve been doing the cooking, the takeout, the serving, the waiting on costumers, everything they can and it’s really hard,” Brands said.
Brands said his mother suffered a stroke a month ago, she owns the restaurant.
And now, most days, Brands does not have the time to see her.
“I have to be here all the time just to make sure everything is good and safe and hot,” Brands said.
Brands said his staff is relatively new and still training, because of that, he cannot go back to open seating. Kathy George eats at Santasiero’s every week and said the reservation policy shouldn’t turn people away.
“It’s not a problem as long as you have the phone number and he has it advertised all over the windows,” George said.
Perri is one of the only employees who has worked there for more than a month.
“We need someone who is just solid who we know is going to be here, who doesn’t have to call off,” Perri said.
Brands said they are searching for four new staff members, ideally people with previous restaurant experience, but he said that can be in any capacity.