FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Regulars at Herman’s Ribhouse are volunteering their time to make sure their favorite restaurant doesn’t have the lock its doors. 

Labor shortages continue to affect local restaurants and, in the case of Herman’s, it’s forced owner Nick Wright to leave his doors locked and on what are usually the busiest days of the week.

For the last month, Shannon Shelton and many others who love Herman’s Ribhouse have been donating their free time waiting and busing tables to make sure they’re able to open. Because if they didn’t, nobody else would. 

“Bringing waters and chips and salsa, and letting them know hey I’m a volunteer I’m not a professional. But letting them know it’s important to give back to this community, the way Nick and Carrie have given back,” says Shelton. 

Owner of Herman’s Nick Wright says the fact that regulars at his restaurant are willing to put on an apron Friday night to make sure Herman’s is Herman’s for years to come, rather than sitting down for dinner themselves, is possibly the most meaningful thing anybody has ever done for him. 

“Words can’t describe how it makes me feel. I’ve been here for a long time, I’ve seen a lot of things, this is by far the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen working here,” Wright said. 

Help that he believes embodies the true spirit of Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas. 

“Because they know when we close we lose money, The bills don’t stop coming, they are literally saving us,” said Wright. 

Wright says if this story can’t inspire people to come and work, he doesn’t know what will. But, in the meantime, they’re going to do everything they can to keep Herman’s a reality.