Local restaurants thriving or struggling with staffing this Valentine’s Day

If you’re planning on taking your special Valentine to a romantic dinner this Valentine’s Day, you may need to have some extra patience.
Published: Feb. 13, 2022 at 7:40 PM CST
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - If you’re planning on taking your special Valentine to a romantic dinner this Valentine’s Day, you may need to have some extra patience.

Clinton Harwell and his Italian restaurant, Pignetti’s has been serving Central Texans in downtown Temple for the last 20 years. However, the pandemic and other factors have taken a toll.

“Last year on Valentine’s we still had COVID and then you had the winter freeze come in,” he said.

“So, all in all, COVID plus the freeze, we basically lost Valentine’s last year. I think for all the people last year who had to have dinner at home are ready to enjoy their Valentine’s this year and enjoy life again.”

This year is a different story. While some restaurants are understaffed, Harwell says his establishment has enough staffing to meet the high demand this Valentine’s Day weekend, but it’s no easy task as hundreds of reservations have been made.

“Saturday, we had around 300 reservations,” Harwell said.

“Sunday is the super bowl. Usually, the day before Valentine’s is like another Valentine’s Day, we’re still busy. Then Monday, Pignetti’s will probably be at around 400 reservations for dinner starting at 4 o’clock.”

With hundreds ready to enjoy a delicious meal, Harwell says they’re keeping their menu simple to keep the workload easy on the staff. While they’re thankful to have enough ready to serve, Harwell adds o matter where you enjoy your Valentine’s meal, please have a little extra patience with the staff and service.

“Any restaurant to be open for 20 years is blessed,” he said.

“Through the ups and downs for 20 years, plus everything with COVID in these last two years, we’re extremely blessed. We’re fortunate that we live in a local community with Temple and Waco customers that come in every day that’re a very great a loyal clientele.”

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