Some customers who had preordered their Thanksgiving meals through Boston Market were surprised when they arrived at the chain's Rancho Cucamonga, California location and found it closed.
A sign at the Rancho Cucamonga restaurant, about 45 miles east of Los Angeles, said that its sudden closure was due to a labor shortage.
“No employees showing up today… we are unable to fulfill the orders! We are sorry!" read the sign, which was posted on the establishment's front door, according to The Orange County Register.
Slaton Smith, the chief marketing officer for Boston Market Corporation, told NBC Los Angeles that the company was aware of the surprise closure.
"We are in the process of refunding the Thanksgiving order(s) of every guest impacted by our Rancho Cucamonga location," Smith said. "We are investigating the cause of this issue. We sincerely apologize to every guest who placed an order and came to the restaurant today."
According to their website, Boston Market locations offer a wide range of prepared Thanksgiving dinner options. Customers can order menu items a la carte, complete meals or catered dishes, and meals can be picked up or delivered to customers directly. Some locations of the popular chain were also open for dining on Thanksgiving Day.
Boston Market isn't the only franchise grappling with a tight labor market. Some McDonald's locations have opened hiring to children as young as 14, while fast-food chain Raising Cane's is making up for their lack of workers by putting corporate staff to work at their restaurants. Other companies are offering increased pay, signing bonuses and increased benefits in an attempt to entice workers.
Employers have been trying to hire more than the number of people looking for work. Over the summer, there were about 10.1 million job openings, though there were just about 8.7 million people seeking jobs, according to the Department of Labor.
Restaurants are also dealing with supply shortages brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Some shortages have led to a spike in prices or left customers unable to order their favorite meals.