JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – As Black Friday ramped up the retail sector of Jackson’s economy, Jackson restaurants also hoped to cash in on some holiday crowds.

For restaurants in Jackson, large crowds were expected and welcomed on Black Friday.

“It should be an all-day event here at Saltine, one that we anticipate being very busy, one of our busiest days of this holiday season. One we’re hopefully ready to rock and roll on and be excited for the volume,” said TJ Gibson, general manager of Saltine.

“We see a lot of larger groups. People are in town with their families, so we expect them to be coming in. We’ve already seen some people coming in with their families today and we’re expecting more of that tonight,” said Chuck Nix, a manager of Bravo.

While restaurants love to see their dining rooms full, having enough staff can pose a challenge. Luckily for Saltine and Bravo, they haven’t struggled with funding employees as much as other local restaurants.

“What goes into it ultimately is just making sure you just have enough balance between your staff and their families to have them in there when you need them so that the guest experience can be what they expect it to be. We’ve been very blessed not to have to scratch and claw maybe as much as some of our peers to get some people in the building,” said Gibson.

“The staffing challenges that we’ve had in the hospitality industry are daunting to say the least, but we’ve done a really good job of taking care of our employees and retaining our employees,” said Nix.

For the majority of 2022, Jackson restaurants have had to operate amidst low staffing, record high inflation and the ongoing water crisis. For these establishments, a holiday rush in business amidst such uncertainty couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We’ve seen a very tumultuous summer. Our holiday season has been nothing less than awesome to say the least,” said Nix.

“We just have to tighten up our operation, make sure our staff is as welcoming and friendly without the expectation of being busy tomorrow,” said Gibson.