Bruce’s Burritos, a popular casual restaurant on Route 1 in Yarmouth, announced it is closing its doors on Saturdays because of the labor shortage that is plaguing the Maine hospitality industry.

“Bruce’s Burritos will be closed Saturday and Sundays until we can hire more, qualified employees!” said a sign posted in the restaurant, on Twitter and the restaurant’s Facebook page. Bruce’s has always been closed on Sundays, so dropping Saturdays means it will become a Monday through Friday operation.

Erin Bruns, co-owner of Bruce’s, says it’s simply a matter of there not being enough qualified people to fill positions. “For every Craigslist ad I have put out, I have gotten two responses,” she said.

Bruns’ Facebook post about her dilemma reached 17,000 people, but only three of the 17,000 contacted her looking for work.

“Of those three, not one has come in to fill out an application or submitted a resume online,” she said.

Greg Dugal, executive director of the Maine Restaurant Association, said a low unemployment rate coupled with a booming hospitality industry, with more hotels and restaurants opening every day, has resulted in the biggest labor shortage he’s seen in years. On top of that, from now until Columbus Day is “crunch time” for restaurants, hotels and others in the hospitality industry trying to retain employees, he said.

“All those people who told you they weren’t going back to college do, and all those people who told you they were leaving after Labor Day want to leave Aug, 12, and the high school kids want some time before going back to school,” Dugal said.

Sunset Beach, a 60-room motel in East Boothbay, is in the same boat and is closing for the season nearly two months early. That business and Bruce’s Burritos “are the only two I’ve heard of doing something like that, but my gut tells me they won’t be the last,” he said.

Dugal said restaurants are offering higher wages to try to attract help. But Bruns doesn’t think wages are the issue in her case, because no one is applying for jobs in the first place. She said she starts dishwashers and front-of-house employees at $10.50 per hour, and other employees make more than that, plus tips.

“If I’m talking with somebody who has worked at, say, Chipotle and has great burrito rolling skills, I’m definitely going to want to offer that person more money because they’re going to know how to do the job,” she said.

Bruns said she hopes to reopen on Saturdays eventually.