A group of restaurants in Orlando are facing financial ruin after a string of health problems.
“It’s a terrible situation, it’s not a great place to be in,” said restaurant owner John Foy, who opened a second restaurant in downtown Orlando last year.
“There are a lot of restaurants that closed their doors.
We’ve had a lot more business than we expected.”
The chain has been in the headlines after the deaths of its three co-owners and the closure of its first two locations.
Last week, the chain had to close its second and third locations, and a third location in New Orleans.
“We had to take a hard look at our business,” said Foy.
“That was a big challenge.”
Orlando restaurant owners and employees have had a tough time adjusting to a new world, and many fear that their jobs will be lost.
“People are feeling really, really, lost and confused and frustrated,” said Tom Smith, a former employee.
“I feel like we’re on a roll right now and we don’t have the resources to do anything.”
Smith said he was laid off from his job at a restaurant in Atlanta.
“You feel like you’re doing something that is not right and it’s the first time I’ve felt that,” he said.
“And I felt like I needed to step up and help the cause.”‘
I want to be able to work again’Another owner, John Lueber, said his business is now struggling.
“A lot of people want to make a comeback,” he told Al Jazeera.
“But the only way you can make a difference is to start over and build from the ground up.
I feel so empty right now.”
The owners of the Orlando restaurants, including Luebber, were all part of a group of owners that formed the Orlando Restaurant Guild (ORG) and helped open two new restaurants in 2016.
“The business that we built together is a very good one,” said ORG President and CEO John Lueders.
“But we have lost two of our members who were very close to our business and we have not been able to keep them, and now we have to move forward.”
A spokesperson for the ORG told Aljazeera the group has lost more than 20% of its members since opening their first restaurant in Orlando last August.
“While we have a lot to be grateful for, we also have to recognise that we are on the brink of collapse,” the spokesperson said.
It was only in May that the group was able to reopen its first restaurant, a Thai restaurant in Downtown Orlando.
The restaurant had a reputation for serving well-cooked, high-quality, fresh-made, and well-staffed food.
“When we first opened the restaurant, we had to work really hard and really fast to get our doors open,” said Luef.
“We had a couple of guys who weren’t really experienced in our industry, and they were able to do it.
It was a really exciting experience.”
But the business has struggled to attract new customers.
“With our new owners and new staff, the business is doing pretty well, but it’s still in a precarious position,” Luefer said.
While the group’s restaurant has had its fair share of ups and downs, it has also had its ups and down.
“Our first two restaurants were so popular,” Luesber said.
“So we thought, we can do this.”
“When you’re a restaurant, you can’t lose your customers.
If you can get enough of your customers, you will always be successful.”
Foy said the restaurant owners are still struggling, but he has been able make it work.
“My business has been successful.
My business has really been growing, so I can’t go on and lose my business,” he explained.”
What I can do is make it even better.”‘
We need to be better at preparing the food’One of the restaurant’s co-founders, Paul D’Aquila, said the situation is similar to what happened to his family business, which was forced to close in 2016 after two years of operation.
“To lose all three members of the family, I am devastated,” he wrote on his website.
“They have been with us from the beginning and I have to make sure I’m prepared for the worst, as this is a business that has a long tradition.”
The Orlando Restaurant Alliance has pledged to continue to fight for the future of the industry.
“If there is a way to bring the restaurant industry back, I think it would be a good thing to do,” said Orlando Restaurant Association President and President of the Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, James McWilliams.
“All the other restaurants that are out there need to come together to find a solution.”
But with the uncertainty around what is happening in the industry, it is unlikely that any