(CBS DETROIT) – As the demand to dine-in goes up, restaurants are experiencing a staff shortage.

“More than four out of five restaurants right now are closing either outright days, see a lot of Monday closures, sometimes Sunday evenings and a lot of lunch closures,” said Justin Winslow, the President & CEO.

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After numerous statewide shutdowns and COVID-19 restrictions, restaurant woes are still not a thing of the past.

According to the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, although the food industry is the second-largest private employer in the state, 90% of restaurants are understaffed.

“So, when this industry was able to get back on its feet and went full steam ahead, on June 22 when the governor removed all the restrictions, there just wasn’t a pool of workforce to meet that new demand,” said Winslow.

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The statewide report also shows 85% of full-service restaurants are closing early due to staffing challenges.

“For Michigan to succeed, for Michigan to get back on its feet, this industry needs to be back on its feet and thriving,” said Winslow.

The survey reveals that 95% of restaurants in the state also increased wages while 70% increased schedule flexibility.

Just a few incentives to keep employees motivated to work as restaurants continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

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