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Downtown Grand Rapids' restaurants highlighting staff shortage during Art Prize

Social House in Grand Rapids
Posted at 11:48 PM, Sep 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-18 23:56:54-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As the first weekend of Art Prize kicks off, many downtown restaurants are banking on the hustle and bustle to get more people in their doors.

A lot of those restaurants are working together to make it through.

"Having the opportunity to have people come in here that may not have come downtown in the Grand Rapids before, and try out our restaurant, try out our food or experience, just our ambiance, and maybe hopefully come back again," said Social House General Manager Stacey Veeder.

It has been two years since Social House has served people attending Art Prize, the largest event in downtown Grand Rapids.

After the over a year of restaurants opening and closing, many have been facing a shortage of workers.

"We're very fortunate that I think we have created an environment that a lot of people really want to work. I do know that it hasn’t hit us very hard. I do know that there's a lot of places around here that are going through it pretty difficultly," said Veeder.

Those seeing difficult times are getting help from those who aren't seeing it as bad, collaborating to make sure everyone has what they need as best they can.

"I do know that some people are closing certain hours that they wouldn't plan to. We’re fortunate enough to be able to say open, all open and close, just fine. I do know some, some restaurants are planning to close, when they would rather be open," said Veeder.

If you'd like to help, Veeder said to visit local restaurants.

"If you do come out during Art Prize, it is busier, just be patient with the staff, be understanding, be kind. We’re all human. We're all people. We're all just trying to get through," said Veeder.