WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) — Even though New Jersey lifting many restrictions is welcome news for business owners, some say reopening does pose a challenge. Tonight, Gov. Phil Murphy says Operation Jersey Summer is in effect, which removes most restrictions, including capacity limits on indoor dining.
But here along the boardwalk in Wildwood, flipping the switch to get back to normal isn’t a day at the beach.READ MORE: Philadelphia Seniors Treated To Night Out, Musical At Walnut Street Theatre
2020 brought tourism to a standstill up and down the Jersey Shore.
“We all thought last year would be the last of it but it wasn’t,” said Amanda Franconi, with Franconi’s Pizza.
While the governor announced the lifting of most COVID restrictions including indoor dining effective May 19, Franconi’s Pizza in Wildwood isn’t fully celebrating just yet.
“We seat about 120 people. We’re happy that it’s full dining room, we’re not happy that everybody is short-handed across the board,” Franconi said.
Boardwalk businesses big and small say the extra capacity comes at a time when employees are in short supply.
“We need to have another maybe 25 employees. It’s hard,” Franconi said.READ MORE: Police Searching For Gunmen After Shots Fired Near Chester High School Football Game
“Last Wednesday, it was crazy here and I was running all around,” employee Huggy Adam said.
While those on the clock are picking up the slack, those in charge are gearing up for a long summer.
“It is the hardest year we are going to have,” Franconi said.
They caution it’s still going to take some time to get back to normal.
“I think people expect this year to be a normal year but it won’t be. So as long the customers are patient and they have courtesy toward us doing the best we can it will be a good year,” Franconi said.
Just down the boardwalk, Morey’s Pier is set to reopen this Saturday but still say they need hundreds of workers to fill open positions.
If you are heading down the shore, masks and social distancing regulations will still be in place.MORE NEWS: District Attorney Larry Krasner, Mayor Jim Kenney Speak Out On Philadelphia's Ongoing Gun Violence Crisis
CBS3’s Alicia Roberts reports.