OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — The Town of Ocean City is asking visitors to pack their patience, as a workforce shortage has wait times at restaurants, hotels and attraction longer than normal.

In a town that needs upwards of 12,000 seasonal employees, it’s a problem facing many Ocean City businesses. At Shenanigans Irish Pub, they’re operating with about 65% of the employees they would normally have heading into their busy season.

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“We’re in the hospitality business, we know how to take care of people,” said Greg Shockley, the owner of Shenanigans, “and it’s very hard for us to not be able to do that the way we want to do it.”

Lachelle Scarlato, the Executive Director of the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, acknowledges the problem and said there are several reasons behind it: from travel restrictions hindering international work exchange programs to a summer housing shortage.

“We are continually looking at solutions to the equation,” said Scarlato. “There isn’t one, it’s going to be a host of different solutions that will contribute.”

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Until a solution is found, they ask visitors to pack their patience as businesses like Shenanigans work to make your experience memorable.

“It may take a couple minutes longer to be waited on or to get your food, but we’re going to get it done, we’re going to get it done the right way,” said Shockley, “hopefully you’re going to be here to make your memories.”

Note: This story was originally published on May 31, 2021

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Sean Streicher