Sarasota, FL

A FL Restaurant & Deli Had To Close In Only Two Days Due To Staffing Shortages. Then It Got Creative

L. Cane

The pandemic brought about restaurant staffing shortages for understandable reasons. With lockdowns and quarantines, it wasn't always business as usual.

However, according to Open Table, the restaurant industry is still experiencing staffing difficulties - even three years after the pandemic.

It may not be completely surprising, then, that a Florida restaurant had to close a mere two days after its opening for the same reason.

A Dedication To Quality: The Original Wolfie’s & Rascal House, a New York-style and Jewish deli in Sarasota's Rosemary District, opened in early November of 2023.

In a press release, chef Sol Shenker indicated that the focus of the deli would be to create a warm environment for the community and to serve the highest quality food, explaining:

“Our goal is to create a warm, welcoming, lively atmosphere, just like the traditional delis. We do this for the love of the food—the highest quality pastrami, brisket, bagels, and lox—and now we have the privilege of doing it for the love of our community because it makes people happy.”

Excitement For The Opening: According to Business Observer, social media created a good deal of excitement for the restaurant, and on the day of the opening, there were long lines and large crowds.

However, after only two days, the deli decided that it did not have adequate staff to provide the quality service needed, so it temporarily closed, indicating that it was looking for "more dedicated" staff.

In a statement, the restaurant said:

“We have decided to temporarily close our doors in order to welcome more dedicated and passionate staff into our Wolfie's and Rascal House family. Our aim is to ensure that every visit is as iconic and seamless as the first.”

Unfortunately, some of the reviews did reflect the staffing shortages during the opening, with one reviewer calling it a "dumpster fire of a grand opening." That said, some reviewers complimented the food and the "amazing" chef.

The Reopening: The company didn't give up. On their social media, they indicated that they were regrouping by welcoming new faces and meant to "train them in the art of delivering the highest quality deli experience."

The restaurant has reportedly reopened with limited hours - from 11 am - 4 pm - with the understanding that hours will be expanded as more staff is hired and trained.

The restaurant serves a variety of soups, salads, and an astonishing assortment of creative sandwiches, burgers, and desserts. Portion sizes are huge.

The author is not affiliated with Wolfie's or any other restaurant.

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