SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Some businesses in Speedway are racing to hire more staff ahead of the Indy 500.
The hiring signs at Brozinni’s Pizzeria say it all. Staff there are especially feeling the stress, with many of them working extra long hours to keep the business going.
Brozinni’s is new to the block in Speedway, and manager Tammy Fox said the bar and restaurant’s problems are similar to surrounding businesses.
“We are not the only ones out here struggling. Everybody is struggling. Everybody has huge wait times, especially for parties larger than six to get into the door. You know, people are waiting two hours just to get in,” Fox said.
Those crowds increased this week as race fans continue to pour in from across the country, leaving Brozinni’s in a tough spot.
“We are working six days a week pretty much. Last week, we opened Wednesday, everybody worked open to close pretty much,” owner James Cross said.
Cross says he’s hearing some people are choosing not to work because they don’t want to deal with enforcing restrictions and getting backlash from customers.
Others say when bars and restaurants were forced to shut down during the pandemic, they found better paying jobs.
“And I get that, but right now the whole industry is hurting, restaurants everywhere,” Cross said. “You see signs in all the windows at all the businesses talking about needing more people to work.”
He hopes lifting restrictions, getting more people vaccinated and ending the extra unemployment benefits will push people to go back to work sooner.
Marion County health officials are scheduled to give an update on the county’s current restrictions Wednesday morning.