Labor shortage affecting Southwest Florida

Reporter: Andrea Guerrero
Published: Updated:
FILE: A labor shortage is affecting restaurants in Southwest Florida. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Jim Rehak and his wife have been loyal customers at Bubba’s Roadhouse and Saloon in Cape Coral for more than 20 years.

“The customer always comes first,” Rehak said.

But behind the scenes, the staff works twice as hard amid a nationwide labor shortage affecting Southwest Florida.

Owner Jay Johnson is short three cooks.

“It’s a big number because those three represent a day off for my current staff. So some work six days, some work seven days and I need to get them rested, so they don’t burnout,” Johnson said.

What is happening at Bubba’s is what’s happening in restaurants nationwide.

Rehak said that’s true even at chain restaurants.

“Slower service, quality service here was not as good,” Rehak said.

Johnson said he started struggling after restaurants opened back up during the pandemic but the money keeps coming in.

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