Local businesses scramble to hire more staff as capacity limits lift

Capacity limits have lifted for non-essential businesses that require proof of vaccination, and local restaurants are preparing to welcome more foot traffic through their doors.

“We are pretty excited about it,” Armend Morina, manager at Dearborn Restaurant said to CTV. “It helps [restaurants] a lot, due to the fact that they’ve been left out for two years now.

"I don't think we'll ever be back to how things were in the past."

Indoor dining joins sports facilities, gyms, casinos and other non-essential workplaces as the latest businesses to be included in the province’s decision to ease pandemic restrictions. However, some businesses are unsure if they can keep up with the sudden increase in customers.

“In a way it’s great that we’re back to max, but at the same time it’s going to put pressure on the owners knowing the fact that we have to hire more employees,” Morina said.

Dearborn Restaurant owner Mike Fthenos said he’s reluctant to open at full capacity until he hires more employees to handle the heavy workload.

“They really didn’t give us too much time to get ready for a full house,” Fthenos said. “I’ll probably stay at half capacity for a while until I get the staff I need in order to handle a full house.”

In Kitchener, owners at Gym 41 said they’re ready to welcome more people into the facility to workout.

“It helps create the atmosphere of a gym,” Matt Rolleman, Gym 41 co-owner said. “That’s the way gyms are, it’s kind of like restaurants. You want to have people around. People feed off each other.”

Places of worship, museums and personal care settings can also operate under lifted capacity limits if they opt-in to the vaccine certificate program.

Proof of vaccination still isn’t required to access medical care, grocery stores and other essential services.