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Restaurant forced to reduce operating hours due to lack of help

Maggie's Kitchen will be open only three days a week
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Posted at 3:55 PM, May 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-07 17:30:45-04

GASPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — Maggie's Kitchen opened on March 10 last year, and closed March 16 due to the pandemic.

They offered take-out for a while, then hired some people to help, but they needed more.

"We can't get help, we just can't get any help and we don't know what to do," said Mary Anne Grudzinski, Co-owner of Maggie's Kitchen.

It got so bad that they had to reduce their operating hours to only three days a week.

Mary Anne Grudzinski and her husband Billy Benke said they desperately need help; they're physically having a hard time running the restaurant.

"I'm a two-time cancer survivor and I have issues with my legs, and I'm not supposed to be standing like I am," said Grudzinski.

"I'm standing on my left foot now because I have a bad hip and a bad knee," said Benke.

And to help with the workload, they need at least two or three cooks.

But Benke said they just can't compete with the Pandemic Unemployment benefits.

"I can't pay you $900 a week to work here. So we're just trying to chug along," he said.

Under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, people are eligible to receive up to about $500 per week plus an additional $300 per week.

Benke said a cook at Maggie's Kitchen makes about $15 an hour, which is $600 a week. A waitress would make $8.50 an hour, which is $319 a week, plus tips.

Despite the numbers, they're staying hopeful. Grudzinski said they offer great hours and easy work.

"It's a small menu, we open up at 6:30 in the morning, Billy and I usually open the place up. So we usually don't have our other folks come in until like 8:00, 8:30 in the morning," she said.

Benke said if anyone is interested in applying, they should call him at (716) 628-9900.

The restaurant will stay operating three days a week until further notice