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Downtown restaurants dealing with staff shortages brace for Florida-Georgia crowds

Thousands of fans are coming to town this week for the Florida-Georgia game, and many are expected to visit bars and restaurants in downtown Jacksonville. But staff shortages are already an issue. When it comes to the annual rivalry game at TIAA Bank Field, businesses like Burrito Gallery on Adams Street and the Bay Street Bar and Grill on Bay Street are expected to see an increase in the number of people walking through their doors.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thousands of fans are coming to town this week for the Florida-Georgia game, and many are expected to visit bars and restaurants in downtown Jacksonville.

But staff shortages are already an issue.

When it comes to the annual rivalry game at TIAA Bank Field, businesses like Burrito Gallery on Adams Street and the Bay Street Bar and Grill on Bay Street are expected to see an increase in the number of people walking through their doors.

Burrito Gallery employee Tiffany Larosa said that when it comes to staffing that weekend, it’s “all hands on deck,” meaning no employee is allowed to be off so that the restaurant can service an anticipated larger number of customers.

“I don’t want anyone to get upset if we have a wait. We just want to make everyone happy,” Larosa said.

This wasn’t the case last year because of COVID 19-restrictions.

“We were only allowed to have a certain amount of people,” Larosa said.

But now the challenge is having enough staff.

Larosa said that typical weekday nights are already overwhelming at times.

“Sometimes, there’s a line outside around the door and there’s only a few of us here working,” Larosa said.

Like many places around the country, Burrito Gallery is having a hard time hiring people. It’s the same story at the Bay Street Bar and Grill. The manager there told News4Jax that they simply don’t have the staff to deal with the large number of people expected to flood the area for Saturday’s game.


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