In a nation of restaurants continuing to struggle due to the effects of a worldwide pandemic, Montana is just one of 5 states with a service industry that is bouncing back. That may come as a surprise to those of you who are frustrated with limited hours at your favorite local eateries.

A CNN Business article based on information from the National Restaurant Association says that we shouldn't expect the restaurant business to ever return to how things were before the pandemic. Restaurants will continue to struggle to find and keep employees, and the supply chain issues will continue through 2022. Reasons for this include the fact that many Americans who worked from home during the pandemic have fully made the switch to that lifestyle and will not be returning to the office. This, in turn, means less going out for lunch, and the article says people working from home say they are going out for dinner less often, as well.

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There are only 5 states with restaurants reporting the same number of employees they had pre-pandemic, and those are Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, Utah, and Arizona. One of our writers recently shared his frustration in not being able to walk into the lobby of his family's favorite restaurants. Not because they feel the need to eat inside, but because when their drive-thru order is wrong, they can't even run inside to have it corrected.

My heart goes out to all businesses owners and service industry workers. It's sad that we live in a time where businesses have to post signs that ask customers to please go easy on the employees as they are short-staffed. Let's continue to support our local businesses and hope Montana stays on the list of states bouncing back.

Source: CNN Business

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