Everett staple cuts back open hours with worker shortage

For the first time in nearly six decades, Ray's Drive-In is closed almost as many days as they are open.

Inside the iconic Everett restaurant, workers operate like a well-oiled machine. But they are so busy that owner Jeff Doleshel says he had to demote himself.

"I am flipping burgers again," Doleshel said

It’s a confusing dichotomy, many are unemployed, yet Ray’s and other businesses can’t find workers.

"I don’t have an explanation," Doleshel said.

So for the foreseeable future when you call Ray’s you will get a voicemail that says they are closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Prior to the pandemic, Doleshel says they were open 6 days a week.

 Everyday they are not open, that’s less money coming in and that worries Doleshel.

"There is nearly 50% of the week where we are not making money," Doleshel said.

At least when they are open, customers pour in.

"The first time in 1982 my girlfriend brought me up here," one customer said.

"It’s awesome, they are really good," Michael Crockett said.

Crockett likes it so much he says he drove all the way from Bellevue to Everett just to grab a burger.

Ray’s recipes have been passed down to 4 generations. But to keep it going, they need workers.

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