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ELGIN, IL - JULY 16: Waitresses Gretchen Boren (L) and Michelle Enright wait on customers at an IHOP restaurant July 16, 2007 in Elgin, Illinois. IHOP Corp. has agreed to purchase Applebee's International Inc. for about $2 billion. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

They are overworked from lack of help

The coronavirus pandemic has caused yet another shortage in the United States. This time, it involves restaurant employees. Labor statistics reveal approximately 5 percent of the restaurant industry’s workforce walked away from their jobs each month this year.

The phenomenon peaked in May, when 706,000 employees called it quits, data reveals. The mass exodus has resulted in 1.2 million open positions at U.S. restaurants — just as more Americans are starting to dine out again. The employee deficit has forced countless restaurant owners to adjust their hours to accommodate their skeleton crews.

Among them is Laurie Torres, who owns an eatery in Ohio. “We used to be known as a late-night restaurant; we can’t do that anymore,” she says. “I don’t have the staff and people are exhausted.” What about the pandemic has caused so many restaurant workers to quit?