As economy opens, Bub’s Burgers struggles to fill job openings

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Bub’s Burgers and Ice Cream on Monday has more than 50 job openings.

The owner has signed an agreement to open a fifth location of the local restaurant at the Indianapolis International Airport. One of the holdups is getting people in the door to work. 

Olivia is one of two servers working the noon rush at the Zionsville location of Bub’s Burgers. It is a constant hustle to keep up with the orders and customers. The owner of Bub’s needs about 50 more people like Olivia. 

“Some servers over the weekend made on average $29 or $31 an hour serving tables. They work a five to six hour shift serving tables, that’s pretty good,” said Frey. 

Greyson Miller is the manager of the Bub’s location in Zionsville. On Monday, Miller was doing just about everything from taking orders to filling the beverage coolers.   

“So finally, people are going back out and the economy is coming back, and people are willing to go out and do these things, and it is really hard to find people that can fill a spot and do the job adequately,” said Frey. 

Frey has leased the Bub’s name to an airport restaurant operator. He would like to get that location open sooner than later. But even the airport is struggling to fill positions, according to Frey. 

“They went to a job fair and there were 30 companies there, with 20 applicants,” said Frey. 

When Frey opened his first store in Carmel 18 years ago, getting people to work was never an issue. Now he has been at work since early Monday morning baking the buns used in his stores. Prior to the pandemic, he had plenty of people willing to bake, cook and serve the customers. 

“It is just insurmountable how hard it is to find people that want to make money but also want to have a responsibility and ownership of what they are doing. But out of the 12-15 interviews we have had scheduled, one has shown, otherwise it is no-shows, no response, and that is what’s frustrating. There doesn’t seem to be any accountability for people on unemployment that say they are trying to find a job but really aren’t trying to find a job,” said Frey. 

Frey isn’t expecting people to rush back to work until at least September or when federal unemployment benefits start to expire.