Keene’s Chipotle location shifted to fewer hours this week because of a shortage of workers, a spokeswoman said.
On Monday, the Mexican chain restaurant switched to 10:45 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days per week, according to spokeswoman Erin Wolford. Previously, the restaurant’s hours had been 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m.
These hours are only temporary, she said in an email, and the restaurant is expected to resume normal operating hours “soon.”
She added that the company is actively trying to hire at locations across the country “due to the challenging labor market.”
Many employers in the Monadnock Region and beyond are struggling to find enough employees as COVID-19 restrictions continue to lift and a busy summer season begins.
Several local restaurant owners told The Sentinel last week that they are facing hiring challenges. They attributed this to a range of factors, such as people being unable to find affordable and reliable child care that would allow them to return to work, and people who used to work part-time in restaurants feeling uncomfortable returning due to health concerns during the pandemic.
Federal unemployment benefits — which have provided people who are out of work with an additional $300 a week during the pandemic — may also be playing a role, according to Mike Somers, president and CEO of the N.H. Lodging & Restaurant Association.
Gov. Chris Sununu announced last month that this extra unemployment benefit will end in New Hampshire on June 19, a move he said is designed to bring more Granite Staters back to work. People are also getting a $1,000 stipend from the state to return to work full time for eight consecutive weeks, and $500 for those going to a part-time job for that period.
Sentinel staff writer Molly Bolan contributed to this report.