FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days for restaurants but local restaurants are having to cut back reservations due to a labor shortage.

“Valentine’s Day traditionally is one of our main days for restaurants along with Mother’s Day,” said California Restaurant Association- Fresno Chapter President Raul Gutierrez Jr.

Every year on February 14th, tables fill up at local restaurants as customers celebrate love.

“It is a great day, a day where people come in to celebrate their relationships new or old,” said Gutierrez Jr.

But this year, owners are taking fewer reservations and telling the public to expect longer wait times due to a labor shortage.

“They are calling it the great resignation, and really it is, I think, more of as the switching of jobs back and forth. People are looking for ideal jobs,” said Gutierrez Jr.

Cracked Pepper Bistro is down four out of 34 employees. The owner said 90% of job applicants don’t show up to the interview and even some of those he has hired don’t last long.

“We have hired dishwashers and when they come in they work a half-hour/45-minute shift, we sent them on break or an hour later they don’t come back,” said Cracked Pepper Bistro Owner Vatche Moukhtarian.

On top of that, owners said supply and food shortages are leading to a condensed menu.  

Now owners are asking customers to be patients and enjoy the night, even if there is a wait.

“Most of us are going to attempt to give people a wonderful experience but I think that overall we just want customers to have patience with us,” said Gutierrez Jr.