- The owner of a steak in Florida became a full-time chef due to a lack of staff.
- Bubba’s Roadhouse cooked 400 steaks on Father’s Day, but had to close a day later because it had no staff.
- The lack of staff meant that Bubba had to remove items from the menu and without a hostess at the door.
The lack of staff in the Florida steak forced the owner to become a full-time chef in charge of cooking about 200 steaks a day.
Jay Johnson, owner of Bubba’s Roadhouse and Saloon in Cape Coral, told Insider in an interview that he works an eight-hour shift seven days a week to cover gaps in his workforce. There should be 12 people working in the kitchen, but there are only nine of them.
“I was also a meat cutter for five months, in addition to working the night of actual cooking on the line,” Johnson said, adding that he had just hired an 18-year-old girl and taught her how to cut meat.
The biggest challenge for Bubba’s is to stay open and take care of customers, Johnson said. The steak had to close on Monday because there were no free workers after Johnson changed the schedule so that all the staff worked on Father’s Day – one of the busiest days in the restaurant.
“Customers absolutely suffer if we have few staff,” Johnson said. “We have a slower service and that affects the guests.
On weekends and weekdays, Bubba’s cooks about 200 steaks, as well as other dishes, Johnson said. On Father’s Day, the restaurant knocked out up to 400 steaks, he added.
The Ministry of Labor says that the minimum wage in Florida is 10 dollars per hour, while employees who give a tip must receive 6.98 dollars per hour, according to the Association of Restaurants and Accommodation of Florida. Johnson pays his kitchen staff $ 13 an hour and staff in front of the house $ 7 with tips, but he said they can earn between $ 150 and $ 200 a day, while bartenders can earn up to $ 400 a day. They were all paid for overtime, he added.
The lack of staff meant that Bubba had to take various groceries off the menu one evening and work without a hostess welcoming guests at the door, Johnson said.
Bubba’s staff was exhausted from the six-day schedule – one worker even left because they were burned, Johnson said. Other employees left because they were returning to college, moving cities, and some were released because they did not respond to Bubin, he added.
Johnson said that the lack of manpower for him has improved in recent months, but Bubba is still not completely filled, which still makes things challenging.
“I would be happy to be able to get out of the kitchen every day,” Johnson said.
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