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More than 100 Ohio restaurants have closed due to staffing shortages, inflation in last year

The owner of Melt Bar and Grilled, who closed a restaurant in the Short North, said things have not been easy since the pandemic.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A good foundation is the key to making the perfect grilled cheese sandwich. The same could be said about running a business.  

"It's got to have some sort of pizzazz,” said Matt Fish, owner of Melt Bar and Grilled.  

Over the last 16 years, he’s opened locations all over Ohio with two locations in Columbus. The first was in the Short North and the second at Easton.  

Fish said things haven’t been easy for his restaurant after the pandemic dealing with staffing shortages and inflation.  

"We'll…here we are, and we haven't hired one person,” Fish said about his restaurants in Columbus.

10TV spoke with John Barker, the President and CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association. Barker said restaurants not only here in Ohio, but nationwide are struggling with staffing shortages and inflation.  

"We've lost over five million people in the workforce across the United States,” said Barker.  

Barker said more than 100 restaurants have closed in Ohio in the last year strictly because of staffing shortages and or inflation. 

To accommodate for the workload, restaurants are paying employees more. 

"Every week an announcement is coming across the state of our members who might have had four restaurants, now they're going to have three,” said Barker.  

Fish said the only solution to this problem is if people come out for a job. His hope is that no more doors will have to close and they can expand in the future.  

Fish said employees did move from the Short North location to the Easton location.

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