ATLANTA - Georgia needs 70,000 restaurant workers to serve all the patrons who are eager to eat out.
Karen Bremer, who leads the state restaurant association, says labor is so tight some restaurants have been forced to shut their doors on Sunday or Monday evenings "just to give their employees a break."
Hard hit, Bremer says, is the kitchen.
"I am continuing to hear about a shortage of cooks," she said.
The restaurant stores that are in the best position are the high-end restaurants and small independent locations. Bremer says that is because those kitchens are more stable.
Matthew Hsiao owns the original Flying Biscuit Cafe in Atlanta's Candler Park.
He says some of his staff have more than a decade of experience at the restaurant.
One key to keeping them, he says, is qualifying staff for promotions.
"The breakfast customer is a loyal clientele," Hsiao said. "They want to see the same familiar faces serving them."