(CNN)Fast food restaurant chain Bojangles will close all stores for two Mondays to give staff a “well-deserved break” following the challenges the restaurant industry has been facing during the pandemic, the company said.
All company-owned stores will close August 30 and September 13 to allow 8,000 staff members and managers time off, the company said in a statement. The restaurant chain, with locations throughout the Southeast, is taking this step in response to industry-wide labor shortages and “other stresses put on its employees who’ve worked hard through the pandemic,” the company noted. “We appreciate everything our dedicated team has done for Bojangles this past year,” Bojangles CEO Jose Armario said. “From navigating a global pandemic to adjusting to new safety measures to picking up shifts for those unable to come in for work, we’ve asked, and they’ve delivered. But this hasn’t been easy, and we know many people are physically and emotionally drained, so we hope these extra two days off will provide rest and refreshment.”How the Delta variant is upending restaurants Read MoreThe availability of Covid-19 vaccines and those who choose to take them gave Americans this spring a fleeting peek at what life was like before the pandemic upended the lives of millions. Service and restaurant industries were hit especially hard. But due to the rapid and omnipresent spread of the Delta coronavirus variant, Covid-19 cases have been surging throughout the country. Some restaurant owners began to see disruptions in the form of slowing sales, no-shows, nervous guests and supply chain hiccups. Others have told CNN that they wonder when they can start to go back to normal, how bad things will get, and if they’ll be able to pull through. Armario said he hopes customers will visit when stores are open.”We apologize for any inconvenience this creates for our customers, but we hope they’ll stop by Tuesday through Sunday, and all other Mondays to be greeted with the same Southern hospitality and smiles we’re known for — perhaps even bigger after a day off,” Armario said.