NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As Tennessee's vaccine rollout continues, some restaurants that have been struggling over the last year are once again looking to hire new employees.
In Five Points Pizza's empty dining room it's easy to see the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We've been doing carryout for most of the year," said Jonathan Rainville, Five Points Pizza's operating partner. "I think this last year has been trying and difficult to say the least."
But in the last few weeks, Rainville has felt a change.
"In the last few weeks, when vaccinations have been rolled out, we've definitely seen more people out and about," he said. "We're definitely excited to get back to some semblance of normalcy."
That normalcy will soon include the restaurant reopening its dining room, and to do that - it needs more workers.
"Hiring is the main obstacle for us to reopen," Rainville said, calling it an obstacle because they aren't the only place hiring. "It is difficult, there are a lot of people that are looking to hire right now."
He says with more people getting vaccinated, more shops and restaurants are able to expand their capacity - and that means more job openings across the area.
"I can only imagine other restaurants are going through similar things," he said.
It's not just Nashville - the most recent Tennessee unemployment numbers are at their lowest since March of 2020. So after a year of pandemic closures and restrictions, restaurants say a hiring problem is a welcome change of pace.
"It's very exciting," Rainville said.
What is the rebound?
As Middle Tennessee works to rebound from the impact of the Coronavirus, we want to help. Whether it's getting back to work, making ends meet during this uncertain time, or managing the pressure, we're committed to finding solution. In addition, we want to tell your stories of hope, inspiration, and creativity as Middle Tennessee starts to rebound.
Find more in the sections below
More Safely Back to School storiesHow schools are changing, and what you can do to help your child get the most from their education, in-person or virtual
Getting Back To WorkLearn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends MeetFind help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the PressureFeeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What’s RightKeep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.
State of EducationFind ways to cope with the new normal around schools and celebrate students’ success in the age of Coronavirus.
We're Open Y'allSupport local businesses doing their best to stay open and serve their customers during Covid.