"People are just walking out in the middle of shifts"

Back then, Morton noticed that the restaurant was having a had time bringing employees back. Once it started bringing new people on board, many of those caved under the pressure.

“People are just walking out in the middle of shifts,” Morton said. “[Hostesses who] seat the tables, the dishwashers, the bussers … they’ll walk out,” he said.

Morton understands why people might quit. After waiting to be seated, customers arrive at their tables “already angry, already wanting to complain about things,” he said. A few weeks ago one employee started to cry because a customer was so mean to her.

On top of all that, there are for more takeout orders than there used to be. “It’s almost like we’re running double the restaurant, comparatively, with half the staff.” Darden, the owner of Cheddar’s, did not respond to a request for comment.