AVERY COUNTY, N.C. — Businesses across the state are having a hard time finding employees as industries begin to show signs of recovery from the pandemic.

What You Need To Know

  • Businesses are having staffing issues due to the pandemic

  • A restaurant in Avery County has been forced to close two days a week because they cannot find employees

  • The owner says she has worked hard to find employees as this is the time of the year that it is most important to be open

For some parts of the Tar Heel State, we're entering the busiest time of the year for tourism. One restaurant in the North Carolina mountains, the Tartan Restaurant, has been open seven days a weeks since the 1980s, but it's been forced to close two days a week for the first time ever.

Owner Sharon Peters has always worked in the hospitality business. She went from beauty shops to restaurants. Her dad had an idea in the 1980s for her and her sister to run their own restaurant.

"We were distilled at a young age, the work ethic," Peters said. 

Her father built them the Tartan Restaurant, based around home cooking. Tartans hang on the wall representing the different Scottish families that participate in the Highland Games each year. 

"I have some drive from Johnson City. I have lots of people who come maybe not everyday but four to five days a week" Peters said. 

Summer is the busiest time of the year because more people are heading up the mountain to explore the area and eat at staples like the Tartan.

"People here in Avery County depend so much on the summer tourist season for the livelihood, to make enough money to get through the winter months," Peters added.

However, Peters can't find enough people to work to keep the business open everyday. 

"It hurts my heart and hurts my pocketbook," she said. 

The lack of workers has dropped her restaurant to five days a week.

"Places like me, little moms and pops, they are going to go under because of this," Peters explained.

Peters hopes that she is able to keep the doors open so her current employees can keep making money, and that more people come to work soon.

"It's my heart and soul. I'm married to it," she said.