The Real Reason 2 Alabama Chick-Fil-As Had To Close Their Dining Rooms

In 2020, nearly all fast-food restaurants closed their dining rooms in an attempt to quell the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Recently, some began to cautiously reopen. Although the Delta variant is wreaking new kinds of havoc on the world, some convenience food spots are limiting hours and services for a totally different reason — the labor shortage.

According to Business Insider, two Alabama Chick-Fil-A locations (in Madison and McCalla) have announced pretty big changes to their offerings because they simply can't get enough people to go to work. Per a Facebook post, the Madison restaurant (located west of Huntsville) has closed the dining room and quit offering both mobile carryout and mobile curbside service. So, if you choose to patronize this location, it must be done via drive-thru or mobile drive-thru. The McCalla location (near Tuscaloosa) has also shuttered the dining room. It will continue to run the drive-thru and mobile curbside services.

According to the Madison store's Facebook post, the decision to limit services was made with staff and quality in mind. "This was done to help reduce the stress on the team members we currently have but also to be able to still provide you with the Chick-fil-A experience you expect, just through a limited venue." The post goes on to say that the team members are tired and overextended, and that the site is making every effort to hire additional workers.

Why the labor shortage is happening

Chick-Fil-A is hardly alone in this situation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 10 million job openings in June 2021. This is up from 9.3 million at the end of April, per Forbes, when the country started to reopen, vaccinations became readily available, and many expected the labor shortage to get better.

There are a lot of reasons for the labor shortage. Unemployment benefits passed by Congress are commonly blamed, as it seems that some workers make more money staying home and collecting the payments than actually going to work. Although there are certainly some cases in which this is true, Forbes claims that low compensation levels, bad working conditions, and less-than-stellar benefits are the more likely culprits.

However this plays out, it's likely to be a win some/lose some scenario for these Chick-Fil-A locations if the comments on the Madison Facebook post are any indication. "Sorry, folks, but I will not sit in your 40 car drive through. Love Chick fil A but I'll go to the one down on University," commented one person. That said, another customer appreciates the store's transparency and dedication to employee well-being. "Happy to see a business that values/takes care of its employees! But we're not's CFA, after all!"