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Kent favorite Ray’s Place temporarily closes after kitchen staff walks out

The national labor shortage is stressing businesses, customers and remaining workers nationwide
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 7:18 PM EDT
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KENT, Ohio (WOIO) - Monday morning, the sign on the door reads: “Ray’s Regrets To Inform you, We Will Be Closed All Day Today.”

19 News sources say the kitchen at Ray’s Place has been closed since the entire kitchen staff walked off the job Friday night, citing “unreasonable demands.”

19 News called Ray’s Place Saturday night and a worker told us the kitchen was closed and didn’t know when they would re-open.

Both the owner and managers declined to discuss the issues on-camera.

Ray’s Place is an institution in Kent, serving customers wings and burgers since 1937.

Dozens of customers who were turned away Monday afternoon said they were disappointed but understood that labor shortages are affecting businesses nationwide - especially those in the hospitality sector.

They described the frustrations they’ve faced trying to dine out in other locations.

“We’ll pull up to a restaurant and the parking lot will be empty, and we’ll go into the restaurant and there’s a ton of tables but there’s no servers,” said Kelly Souck, who stopped by Ray’s Monday. “There’s no one in the kitchen to help. It’s really a bummer.”

“You have to wait like 15 minutes for a table and you’re like, ‘there’s no one in there,’” said Monica King, who also stopped at Ray’s Monday. “It’s not their fault. There’s no workers. You try to be nice about it. I get frustrated when I hear people complaining, ‘What’s wrong with these people?’ and I say, “It’s just everywhere - everywhere.”

A worker who did not want to be identified said management and staff are working through all of the issues and plan to re-open on Tuesday.

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