Fed-up pub owner closes the kitchen

Tav­ern had trou­ble keep­ing and re­tain­ing qual­ity em­ploy­ees.

Dayton Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - By Amelia Robin­son Staff Writer

You can’t get good help these days, says Chris Carmichael, so the burg­ers his Day­ton bar is known for will be just a mem­ory.

The owner of a Day­ton tav­ern known for its wings and burg­ers said the stress of work­ing with some lo­cal cooks led him to close his kitchen.

“No­body wants to work. Peo­ple lie. Peo­ple steal (food),” Chris Carmichael, the owner of Carmichael’s Pub, 3011 Wayne Ave., said. “Peo­ple say they’ve been do­ing it 15 years, and they can’t make a ham­burger or a grilled cheese (sand­wich).”

con­tin­ued from B1

The busi­ness’ bar will re­main open as nor­mal, but for now the only food it will of­fer is items that do not have to be pre­pared by a cook such as piz­zas, subs and chips and dip.

Carmichael’s award-win­ning burg­ers were fea­tured as part of a Day­ton.com Face­book Live a year ago.

The restau­rant em­ployed two full-time kitchen work­ers and one part-time kitchen worker, ac­count­ing for about $1,150 in pay­roll a week, Carmichael said.

Carmichael said he’s had trou­ble keep­ing and re­tain­ing qual­ity kitchen help since he went into busi­ness eight years ago.

Things boiled over and Carmichael de­cided he couldn’t take it any­more two weeks ago af­ter some­one left a freezer door open, caus­ing the food in­side to spoil.

“It be­came too much stress,” Carmichael said.

There have been other prob­lems, too.

Af­ter be­ing at the busi­ness four hours, Carmichael said he went to watch his daugh­ter cheer out of town only to be called and told there was only enough ground beef in the restau­rant to make three ham­burg­ers.

Cus­tomers have called him to com­plain of hour­long waits for ham­burg­ers.

“I can make a meat­loaf in less than an hour,” he com­plained.

Be­fore clos­ing the kitchen for good, Carmichael said he had to comp $143 in food in one day due to fail­ures in the kitchen.

“We are do­ing bet­ter now that we don’t have a kitchen than we did be­cause I am spend­ing less money out of my pocket,” he said, not­ing other tav­ern own­ers he’s talked to have ex­pe­ri­enced sim­i­lar trou­bles with kitchen help.

“It’s lazi­ness,” Carmichael said. “They jump from one place to the next.”

Of all the kitchen work­ers he’s em­ployed, Carmichael said only four have been true cooks.

“I’ve hired 60-yearold peo­ple and I’ve hired 20-year-old peo­ple and I’ve had a prob­lem with all of them,” he said. “The men­tal­ity of kitchen help was more than I could take. I just said, ‘I can’t take it any­more.’”

Carmichael said he has high stan­dards.

“We had fresh burg­ers. We bat­tered our mush­rooms ...,” he said. “Ev­ery­thing was fresh and no­body could do it.”

Carmichael said he in­tends to keep his kitchen’s equip­ment.

“Maybe one day I will de­cide I want more pun­ish­ment and try it again,” he said. “I have a good prod­uct. I just can’t get good, de­pend­able peo­ple to get it out.” Con­tact this re­porter at 937225-2384 or email Amelia. Robin­son@cox­inc.com.


Carmichael’s Pub re­mains open, but the only food it will of­fer is items that do not have to be pre­pared by a cook.

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