Add Tully’s Tenders to the list of foods you won’t see at the 2021 New York State Fair.
Tully’s good times joins other high-profile food vendors such as Gianelli Sausage / Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Haddock’s Paddock and Baker’s Chicken Coop who will not be attending the post-pandemic fair later this summer.
Tully’s, like some of the others, blames staff issues amid a chronic labor shortage that has hit the restaurant industry particularly hard.
Labor issues mean Tully’s won’t be opening its stand near the international building which typically sells tons of chicken fillets along with other foods. Tully’s will operate its Draft House, a beer garden near the main entrance this year.
“It is with great sadness that Tully’s Good Times announces that we will not be serving our fresh chicken fillets at the Great New York State Fair this year,” Tully wrote this afternoon. on his Facebook page. âDue to the current national labor shortage, it has been difficult to staff our restaurants. It takes dozens of people to operate our food stand and we are unable to find the sheer number of employees to operate it at a level our customers are used to and deserve. For this reason, we have decided to focus all our efforts and resources on our core business, managing our restaurants. “
Tully’s Good Times is a local restaurant group owned and operated by the Giamartino family. It has 11 sites in upstate New York and one in Pennsylvania. The Giamartinos also own CopperTop and Good Buddy’s restaurants in the Syracuse area. The company is based east of Syracuse.
Dan Giamartino, a partner in the family business, said the Draft House can open because it requires fewer workers than the food stand.
“We are very grateful to the loyal and hardworking team members who show up to work day in and day out in our restaurants, some of whom worked directly during the pandemic,” Tully’s statement said on Facebook. âAt the moment, it is not possible to demand more from our staff. We are disappointed with this and thank (Fair Director) Troy Waffner and the fair staff for working with us during this difficult year. We will see the fairgoers next year enjoying our fresh chicken fillets to celebrate our 20th anniversary at the Great New York State Fair.
Fair officials acknowledged the challenges facing many vendors as the pandemic has ended and staff and product shortages have increased.
“We’re sorry to know that Tully’s Good Times won’t be with us this year, but we understand the situation they find themselves in,” Waffner said in a statement. âThey know they will be welcome at the Fair in 2022.
Waffner said some locations at the fair will have fewer vendor spots available, to meet safety and health protocols.
But fair officials also said their number of vendors returning this year indicates that the amount of food options will be strong, if not quite at the level of previous years.
In addition to the handful of food vendors who have announced that they will not be on hand for the 2021 show, other non-food stalls have also come out. That includes North Syracuse-based Tarson Pools & Spas, which blamed a shortage of products available to display for its decision to skip the fair.
This year’s State Fair is being reduced from 12 to 18 days and runs from August 20 to September 6.
Find out more about the NY State Fair 2021:
2021 NYS Fair is back, but will always be different than what you’ve known; here’s how
New York State Fair attendees won’t need proof of vaccination to go without a mask