OLEY TWP., Pa. – A new restaurant is apologizing to its customers.
Last weekend, Redvo Restaurant opened in what used to be the Oley Turnpike Dairy in Oley Township.
Business is booming, but there’s a problem: not enough staff, and it’s a challenge many restaurants face.
It’s a blessing and a curse for Humberto Rojo, who says he’s grateful but overwhelmed.
“I slept three to three and a half hours. It’s not even a full week and it feels like a full month,” Rojo explained.
Right now, Rojo wears many hats at the new restaurant on Oley Turnpike Road: food prep, chef and owner, to name just three.
“It’s really packed. They’re doing a great business,” said Elaine Richards of Birdsboro. “It was great to have something like this in the area. They were really popular. They were in Coventry Mall for years and it seemed like a lot of people followed them.”
So Elaine Richards’ 9-year-old granddaughter, Ashlynd, offered to step in and help.
“Really crazy. On Valentine’s Day, we ran around. I wanted to clear tables, fill drinks and give people their menus,” said Ashlynd Richards, who attends Boyertown Elementary. “I wanted to help dad, because there aren’t many waitresses.”
After several weeks of renovations, the restaurant opened last weekend. Rojo says business has been busier than anything he could have predicted and he is asking for people’s patience.
“Especially the people who show up at the grand opening,” Rojo said. “Please give me a second chance.”
Rojo says he needs more staff. This includes cooks, dishwashers, servers, preppers, waitresses and bussers.
“If someone is willing to learn to cook, I have no problem teaching them to work as well,” said Rojo.
The need for hospitality workers is not a unique challenge for Redvo. During the pandemic, industry leaders say restaurants have had to close their doors and downsize.
According to Joe Massaro, president of the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association, many staff left to find more stable work and some never returned.
“The hospitality industry, like many industries — medical, technology, distribution — is trying to hire enough employees to meet demand. We’re recruiting new people and bringing them into the business, but it takes time,” Massaro said. . “Happily demand is up. We just need to hit our employment base.”
As for Humberton, he says the blessing is greater than the burden.
“I’m happy they showed up,” said Rojo. “It is better to have participation than to have no participation at all.”
Redvo Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.
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