Staffing shortages at Duke Dining facilities lead to long hours for workers; staff instructed not to comment

<p>Workers at Ginger &amp; Soy in the Brodhead Center.</p>

Workers at Ginger & Soy in the Brodhead Center.

Duke Dining has suspended or abbreviated the hours of operation of multiple dining locations across campus, citing ongoing labor shortages.

Specifically, The Commons, The Chef’s Kitchen and Dolce Vita are currently closed. Pitchfork’s dine-in is also closed, with grab-and-go and mobile order operating under abbreviated hours. 

Many companies nationwide claim that labor shortages are to blame for abbreviated hours and longer wait times/lines. However, contradictory statements from dining workers suggest shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have had little to no effect on the Duke Dining Department. 

The majority of workers at the Brodhead Center either declined to comment or cited no notable changes in the labor force. However, one Brodhead Center employee, who requested to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, said that dining workers have been directed not to speak about the dining labor shortages.

Conversely, Marketplace worker Sharron Bradshaw said that staffing shortages on campus have led to exhaustion and long hours for workers. “It’s a staff shortage everywhere, it’s not just here. This is everywhere, but everybody’s trying to pitch in and work together,” Bradshaw said. 

“I work up here and then when I’m done here, I go to Trinity [Cafe] and I stay until almost 12:00. So you know, yeah, we’d be exhausted. But at the end of the day, we know we’re going to help do whatever it takes to get everything done.”

Robert Coffey, executive director of dining services; and Chris Holloway and Sam Clowney, who own and operate Pitchfork’s Provisions, a company that comprises many on-campus dining locations, declined to comment on labor shortages in their respective facilities.


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