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Century-old Utah restaurant cutting back due to staffing shortage

Posted at 4:50 PM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 19:40:04-05

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah — A one-hundred year old Brigham City restaurant is scaling back their services. It's food is more popular than ever, but the problem is finding enough people to make it.

Employees at Idle Isle still prep the rolls, set up, and clean up before opening, but signs on the front door explains how the restaurant has cut back hours for staffing, while another said it had to cut back on other things, like catering,

"We’ve catered in the state capitol, we've even catered in the nation's capital we've done weddings we've done all sorts of catering events," said restaurant owner Travis Porter, who added that catering made up 20% of sales in 2019.

However, in 2021, catering is less than 8% of the restaurant's sales.

Porter says he went from 34 employees two years ago, to twelve during the shutdown. Now he needs them back.

Idle Isle Restaurant.jpg
Diners wait to be seated at the Idle Isle Restaurant in Brigham City

"We don't have as many returned missionaries, a lot of students looking for work," said Porter. "It's just been hard to find people to really fill the gaps."

Porter says without burning out his employees, he had to choose between the catering and keeping the restaurant going.

"It definitely hurts knowing that we could be in a lot better place. The demand is there and we have the ability to do it, but just lacking the staff," Porter said.