Furman's returning students have most likely noticed or been affected by some of the peculiar hours of two popular on-campus dining options. Currently, the Library Café (TLC) and Bread & Bowl open later and close earlier than anticipated, and often the operation hours listed on-site and online do not match.
Staff shortages are the primary drivers behind limited hours, as reflected across the nation. Tony McGuirt, Director of Auxiliary Services, commented on the recent shortages, saying "The current staffing shortage has impacted all of our dining facilities in some way. We have been fortunate at Furman to have dedicated staff that have been willing to work in multiple locations and pull additional shifts to fill the staffing gaps... Our food service team is working diligently on a daily basis to fill our open positions."
To support McGuirt's statement, the bathrooms closest to Bread & Bowl feature advertisements, neon green flyers are taped to paper towel dispensers and the walls, saying "Student Workers Needed!" The flyer also advertises willingness to work with class schedule and free meals when on-shift.
"This is definitely a symptom of the national staffing shortage being experienced in the hospitality and restaurant industry. Prior to the pandemic, we rarely had an issue with filling our open dining positions."
While TLC is still closing at 5:00pm, Bread & Bowl has resumed normal operating hours. McGuirt shared that Bread & Bowl and TLC frequently share employees, and reducing TLC's evening hours allowed dining to keep Bread & Bowl open during dinner and evening hours.
Overall, staffing problems are not unique to Furman and correspond with national trends in the dining industry; dining is a single aspect where university community continues to see the persisting effects of the pandemic.
If interested in becoming part of dining staff, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-313-0810.