Big restaurant chains including Olive Garden, Applebee's, IHOP, and Cheesecake Factory are cutting back on delivery amid staff shortages

Big restaurant chains including Olive Garden, Applebee's, IHOP, and Cheesecake Factory are cutting back on delivery amid staff shortages
© Provided by Business Insider Olive Garden takeout. Lea Suzuki/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

  • IHOP, Applebee’s, and Olive Garden are halting online ordering services at peak times.
  • Staffing shortages have made it harder to keep up with demand. 
  • The foodservice industry is grappling with a labor shortage. 

Some of America’s favorite local dining spots including Olive Garden, Applebee’s, and IHOP are being forced to dial back on online ordering and delivery options because of staffing shortages, The Wall Street Journal reported

At the height of the pandemic, takeout and delivery services became a lifeline for these dine-in establishments. But as consumers return to restaurants and demand picks up, a scarcity of workers means they’re having to scale back.

In an interview with The Journal, John Peyton, CEO of Dine Brands, which owns IHOP and Applebee’s, said the company had to shut down delivery options in the evenings or on weekend mornings when it’s most busy with eat-in customers.

“In that trade-off, we are always going to make sure that we’re serving the guests that are physically in front of us because that experience has got to be right,” he told the paper. 

Darden Restaurants, which owns Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse among other chains, is doing the same and cutting its online delivery business at certain points on weekends because of “excess demand,” its CEO said in a recent earnings call.

Meanwhile, The Cheesecake Factory has given its managers the ability to halt its delivery service at any time when the kitchen becomes overwhelmed. The company confirmed in a recent earnings call that it was facing staffing shortages, but said that these had not had a meaningful impact on sales so far. 

The retail and foodservice industries are among those that have been worst impacted by the labor crunch with record numbers of workers quitting each month. These workers – who have been put off by low pay, a lack of benefits, and pandemic health concerns, among other things – are often quitting to find better-paying jobs in more stable industries.

This has put many businesses in a challenging position, and meant they’ve had to reduce hours or close entirely because they can’t find enough staff.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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