Winter Park, FL

Winter Park forced to close doors: “We have no staff and can't find any”

Amy Christie

The long-standing Florida restaurant had to close one of its locations due to extreme staff shortages. When the number of employees dwindled to just 4 workers the owner of the Orlando area BBQ place had to take the decision to close its doors. The reason is that “no one wants to work.”

What are the details?

Owner Boo McKinnon revealed that the Winter Park restaurant had already cut significantly on its hours before finally shutting down.

The restaurant has another three locations around Orlando, so the flavorsome meals aren’t lost. It’s just that they couldn’t find people to apply for the available positions and keep that one going too, according to The Blaze.

“After 35 amazing years, we have locked the doors on Bubbalou's Winter Park for the final time. Through those years, I have made friendships with clients that are irreplaceable. I learned more about life, tolerance, grace, dignity (and sometimes the lack thereof), and compassion in our little Lee Road Bar-B-Que shanty than you could ever imagine,” McKinnon said.
“I literally 'grew up' there. I was self-serving, arrogant, and had a huge sense of entitlement. Let me tell you how quickly the restaurant business cured those ideals!?!? I am heartbroken, yet relieved. I am sad, but excited to grow other locations into even stronger entities,” she added.

McKinnon pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought hardship and a daily challenge to be able to keep businesses open. And lack of staff is a dire need that can’t be fulfilled even though they offered to pay more than other eateries in the same area.

“Business has been off considerably, with the hardest part being the inability to find staff to hire. Despite paying more than any restaurant I am aware of, no one wants to work. We closed our Winter Park store with a whopping four employees. We were closed two whole days per week as well as two half days. It wasn't by design; it was simply due to the fact we have no staff and can't find any.”

And she wanted to let loyal customers know they can still get delicious meals and snacks. It will simply have to be at a different location.

“Thanks to a devoted few team members, Bubbalou's is still three locations strong. Our Winter Park Team is moving to our Apopka location. Come see us in Apopka for that same degree of Bodacious Bar-B-Que, and our Lucky Pig Lounge. We aren't leaving, we are just moving…see you Winter Park!” she encouraged everyone to come round to the other location.

“The Winter Park location was closed because we absolutely could not find help. We cannot even get people to come in and apply. It is just the most amazingly sad thing ever,” McKinnon concluded about the closure.

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX
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