Prantl’s Bakery is temporarily closing its North Huntingdon and Squirrel Hill stores from next week due to a lack of staff, according to owner Joe Cugliari.
He said a store needs about 10 employees to run smoothly.
“We were operating with four,” he said.
It’s a problem many businesses have been grappling with for at least the past year as the country emerged from the coronavirus pandemic and its restrictions. Staffing shortages have been felt in a variety of industries. The Associated Press reported in May that hiring and retaining employees remained the top challenge for small businesses, according to a survey of 1,100 companies by Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Voices.
The lure of working alongside Prantl’s famous burnt almond pie was not enough to bolster the workforce at the bakery’s two new locations. Cugliari said he hopes to have enough staff in North Huntingdon and Squirrel Hill by the busy holiday season and reopen.
In the meantime, store hours in Greensburg, Shadyside and Northside are extended from Tuesday. These stores will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Online and phone orders and delivery will continue to be available at the North Huntingdon store on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cugliari purchased Prantl’s in October 2020.
Business at the North Huntingdon and Squirrel Hill stores, which both opened after the Cugliari takeover, grew, he said. But without appropriate staff levels, it reduces the customer experience.
“We can’t run it because we don’t have the people,” he said. “Hopefully if we can get a team together, I’d like to reopen soon. We have to have a staff together to do that.
Job openings are listed at prantlsbakery.com/career-opportunities and applications can also be completed there. Positions available include Cake Designer/Decorator, Cookie Decorator, Counter Staff/Customer Service, Baker’s Assistant and Driver.