Rockport workforce shortage changes some business hours

Posted at 2:22 PM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 15:22:03-04

Next week a state-wide campaign officially starts to bring more tourists to Rockport. And while about 80 percent of businesses are open, the workforce hasn’t returned. Now some businesses are changing their hours to meet the increasing demands of summer.

For ten years, Aranda’s has offered breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. Last month, owner Jose Castaneda had to close for the dinner shift because he didn’t have enough employees.

"They depend on me to come here and have their dinner, but it was tough," said Castaneda.

Before Hurricane Harvey, Aranda’s had 22 employees, now it has 12 with some temporary help. In order to meet the demand of more customers this summer, and to give employees a day off, Castaneda re-arranged the schedule to be able to open most nights for dinner. The downside is he’ll have to close all of Tuesday and Sunday night.

"People expect us to give good service when you don’t have employees, you can’t give out good service," said Castaneda.

Castaneda isn’t the only business owner dealing with a shortage of workers.

"Some stores like downtown Rockport there’s just not enough employees," said local Kathy Tullis.

A state-wide campaign to bring more tourists starts next week. If those tourists come back to Rockport, they may have to deal with that workforce shortage and longer waits for service.

"We encourage these day-trippers in the ad-campaign to kick in and we bring the stimulus the money back into our economy we need everybody just to be patient with us," said Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce President Diane Probst.