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Arizona Restaurants Recover From Pandemic Loses With Surprisingly Busy Summer

Arizona restaurants are still working to recover from losses brought on by the pandemic, including the loss of employees.

Summer is usually the slowest time for Arizona businesses, as people try to escape the heat by leaving the state.

Arizona Restaurant Association President Steve Chucri says a lack of travel out of Arizona has made this summer more profitable than expected.

“This summer, it seems, or at least it appears, that more people have decided to stay. So, we’ve enjoyed a busy summer, which is wonderful for the restaurant business to try and make up for the serious losses that we experienced in 2020,” said Chucri.

Chucri says restaurant owners are more optimistic about finding employees than in past months, but it will still take time to return to full staffing.

Nationally, the unemployment rate fell to 5.4% in July, its lowest mark since the start of the pandemic.

Vaughan Jones is the weekend reporter for KJZZ, and a graduate of ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports journalism, with a minor in music. As a Phoenix native, Jones’s dream is to serve his community by covering important stories in the metropolitan area.He spent two years as music director at Blaze Radio, ASU’s student-run radio station. His passion for radio stems from joining Blaze his freshman year as a DJ.When he is not working, Jones can be found writing music with his band, playing video games with his friends, or watching his favorite Phoenix-area sports teams.