FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Over a year into the pandemic, the hospitality industry is just now starting to recover.
Business is slowly coming back for both restaurants and hotels, now that more people are getting out, but, this recovery is taking longer for some.
Everything went from full speed to zero overnight.”-ALEX JERDE, DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, KHG HOTELS
“If you run 5-10% occupancy- that revenue at a reduced rate does not go very far,” Jerde said.
Jerde said instead of closing at the beginning of the pandemic like many other businesses, they stayed open the whole time.
“We have to get the business coming back,” Jerde said. “We see the business coming back, but we have to get another 30-40%, just to get back to a good place.”
This is a struggle many restaurants experienced throughout the pandemic as well, but are now starting to recover from.
“We’ve seen what we presumed would be an increase, and it’s been nice,” said Glenn Sibley, General Manager of Wellington’s in Springdale.
Sibley said now, the challenge is finding enough employees to serve its customers, which he hopes means normalcy is just around the corner for business.
Every industry is wanting, needing more employees.”-GLENN SIBLEY, GENERAL MANAGER, WELLINGTON’S
“I think as we move down the timeline, you’ll see that we’re able to get those positions filled and that too will increase business.”
Jerde said this need for employees is a problem the hotel industry is facing as well, but, he is confident business in northwest Arkansas will get back up to speed in just a few months as COVID-19 cases continue to drop and vaccines keep rolling out.