FRANKLIN — Ann's Restaurant is rarely empty, and weekend crowds are usually their biggest.
However, due to a lack of employees, the restaurant's owners were forced to make a decision they never thought they would have to make in its nearly 70-year history. The popular restaurant is now only open on weekdays.
"This was not a choice. This was a forced decision," Ann's Restaurant owner Diana Wilson said. "It's so unusual for a business to have a booming customer base, but literally we did not have the employees to staff it."
The new normal began Aug. 2, which now includes the closing of the upstairs dining area and no more outdoor seating.
"It was very upsetting for me and my family to have to make that decision, but to survive and keep the quality customers are wanting, I had to do it," Wilson said. "People come in and interview. Book the interview, not show. They'll interview, be hired and work three days."
The change is disappointing to Elizabeth Richey, who enjoyed dining outside with her dogs. She's noticed other changes as she shops and dines around town.
"I notice whether it's in drug stores, grocery stores where you used to see the smiling faces, now they've replaced that with self-checkout and I'm sure that's probably the same reason. We just don't have adequate work staff," Richey said.
Since 1952, Ann's has been a constant on the corner of Jackson and Monroe streets. The owners hope this situation is short-lived as an open call to more workers in on the table.
"We've developed a lot of really great relationships with customers here, but unfortunately when we don't have the staff to serve them, you miss out seeing them, you miss out on the money and the income from it all," said Lexi Eckert, an employee at Ann's Restaurant.