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Rush's, 5101 Sunset Boulevard: 14 August 2022   33 comments

Posted at 10:23 pm in closing











In yet another sign of the oddness of our times, Rush's on Sunset Boulevard has closed temporarily due to staffing issues.

We have seen these drag on and become permanent at other places such as Lizard's Thicket on Beltline. Hopefully in this case they will be able to come back.

UPDATE 16 May 2024: Well, as mentioned in the comments, this closing is now permanent, with the chain issuing this message:

“After serving the East Lexington community for 12 years, we are sad to close our doors at this location but know that this decision ultimately allows us to better support the high level of service we strive to provide,” said Don Alcorn, Rush’s President.









Written by ted on August 22nd, 2022

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33 Responses to 'Rush's, 5101 Sunset Boulevard: 14 August 2022'

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  1. Not surprising at all (see my comment on the Cod Tail Seafood closing at the old Decker Rush's). Ownership calls it a "labor shortage" but refuses to pay their employees a decent wage. Believe I saw in the Free Times recently where the owner seemed to be bragging about finally starting employees at $10. Meanwhile McDonald's, Chick-fil-A, etc start at much more than that. This causes a lot of hourly employees to quit, which causes their existing managers and hourly employees to work much harder for the same pay. Now we're seeing many of their good managers quit due to burn out. To fill the roles of the good managers leaving, they'll have to start hiring/promoting new managers who either aren't qualified or at least won't get as in-depth training as previous managers did. This will most likely cause them to burn out quicker, as well as cause even more employees to leave due to poor management and pay. This snowball effect will probably result in more closures over the next few years unless ownership gets with the times and starts treating their employees better.

    Tom T

    23 Aug 22 at 4:48 pm

  2. The days of people wanting to work and actually knew what they were doing and gave good customer service and things, are a thing of the past now. No one cares anymore, no one knows any thing about anything anymore, the managers don't know anything nor do they care. Businesses will continue to lose workers and eventually will close. Decker is an old am-was place just like Broad River and the Dutch Square area. Let's see how many more places will close by the end of this year. Think things are bad now? just wait and see.


    23 Aug 22 at 11:21 pm

  3. Oh, and I worked retail from 1982 through 1994 and then again from 2000-2009, and it wasn't the same then...managers were rude, customers were rude, and the employees for the most part had an IQ of a 5 watt Light Bulb.


    23 Aug 22 at 11:24 pm

  4. Db, maybe you should try shopping at different stores. 3 examples of where I always get good and/or knowledgeable service: Chick-fil-a, Publix and Ace Hardware stores.

    Joe Shlabotnik

    24 Aug 22 at 12:06 am

  5. I hate that "no one wants to work anymore" mindset. People are tired of being paid terrible wages so the higher ups can keep their ridiculous salaries. Rush's is intentionally keeping hourly employees' pay rates low so the executives don't have to make less than the 6 figures they're used to. If rush's would pay their employees a living wage, they wouldn't be closing locations. The employees would also actually take pride in their jobs which, in the end, would make rush's more money. Sadly rush's is just run by 70 year old men who are too stuck in their ways to see that.

    Tom T

    24 Aug 22 at 12:14 am

  6. Tom, EXACTLY! People need to be paid a living wage. Funny how people want the food from a restaurant on a Saturday evening, but the people who operate those places don't deserve a living wage. If you want the service, people need to be paid enough to do it!


    24 Aug 22 at 1:31 am

  7. Thanks Robin. That's the exact point that Rush's ownership misses. They're losing a lot of good employees by paying them subpar wages. This has caused them to lose a bunch of good managers because they're being expected to work twice as hard for the same pay to cover employee shortages. Of course, rush's doesn't show the slightest bit of appreciation to their managers for their extra effort, so many of them are starting to leave.

    Tom T

    24 Aug 22 at 2:36 am

  8. Why should someone who flips a burger or takes orders be paid 15.00 or more an hour? It's not like it takes a rocket scientist or some special college degree to do that. If you're not getting paid enough, or don't feel like you are...then find another job that pays better. The cost of living is going up which I understand, but if you want to make a better life for yourself, then find a job that you can do that pays better. If you can't then start your own business and be your own boss if you know how to do that. Fast food places were never meant to be a big time paying job. They were originally mean to be for a part time summer job for those that wanted to make some extra money during the summer time. That all changed by the late 80's and 90's to what you see now.


    24 Aug 22 at 9:21 am

  9. DB...

    "If you're not getting paid enough, or don't feel like you are...then find another job that pays better."

    That's literally what people are doing and exactly why places like this have a staffing shortage.


    24 Aug 22 at 11:49 am

  10. People say "get a better-paying job". Then they get mad because a restaurant doesn't have enough servers and cooks, and they have to wait a long time for food. When the grocery store only has one cashier working. When the line at the coffee shop is long because only one barista is there.

    Another issue is that more and more college degrees are becoming worthless. Too many people have them. It's not as simple as "Oh, I hate being a fast food cashier, so I can just go get my degree and start an office job."


    24 Aug 22 at 2:32 pm

  11. Robin

    24 Aug 22 at 2:48 pm

  12. This is one of the downfalls that nobody saw coming when companies started raising their minimum wage to ridiculous pay rates. Now it seems like people would rather not have a job unless it pays over $10 an hour. Fast food workers, grocery store workers, big box retailers were not meant to be had for a living wage. These jobs are for the teenagers, retirees and/or the lonely housewife or house-husband. Unless you are in management in 1 of those places, you should NOT expect a living wage.

    Sorry if I offend anyone, but it takes almost zero skill to do any of those jobs. I worked those kind of jobs so I know I wasn't putting my Systems Programming skills to use therefore I didn't expect to get paid much more than minimum wage.


    25 Aug 22 at 9:58 am

  13. That's a free market, Sidney. These workers are deciding their labor is worth more than cheap employers like Rush's are willing to pay. Whether you think they deserve a higher wage or not is completely irrelevant. They have every right to seek out the highest bidder for their services. If the employers want to keep a full staff, they'll need to pay more, simple as that. As someone who worked fast food for years at minimum wage, I'm thrilled that workers are finally realizing they deserve a living wage. I really love your take of " I realize these jobs need to be done, but the people doing them deserve to live in poverty". Unbelievable.

    Tom T

    25 Aug 22 at 12:41 pm

  14. What about demand? Every day, millions of people want to eat at restaurants and have their items rung up at stores. If a job is in high demand, it needs to have better pay, so people will want to do it.

    I certainly understand that being a grocery store cashier is not as complicated as being a doctor. However, I am thinking of how many people want the service performed by the grocery store cashier or the restaurant cook - and how often they want that service. Multiple times a month, usually. If you want the services performed by those people, they at least deserve to not struggle through life.


    25 Aug 22 at 12:51 pm

  15. Tom, according to an article from June 2021, only 7% of state counties have one-bedroom apartments that a minimum-wage worker can afford. Sad. Nobody should struggle to afford a basic home. College is not a magic spell that gives everyone a cozy life. It's a bunch of debt, and fewer degrees are advantageous now.


    25 Aug 22 at 1:48 pm

  16. Spot on Robin. Labor, just like groceries, gas, etc. is a commodity. I decide how much my labor is worth, not some fast food CEO. Either they pay what I believe I'm worth, or I find an employer that is. Just like some employers would love to get by with paying minimum wage, I'd like a Ferrari for $5k. If I go to the dealership and say that's all I'm willing to pay, I'd get laughed out the door. I don't get to scream "No one wants to sell cars anymore!". Why we've been conditioned to believe that all costs except "unskilled labor" wages are allowed to go up is beyond me.

    Hate the term unskilled labor btw. I've worked fast food and corporate jobs. Fast food, while relatively mindless work, was still a heck of a lot harder than any cushy office job I've had.

    Regarding the 7% figure, I'm surprised it's even that high. I'd wager those apartments are an absolute nightmare as well. I just did a cursory search for Columbia apartments. The cheapest one I saw was $705/month. Most were closer to $1k to $1200 for a 1 bedroom. Working 40 hours at $7.25 gets you approx $1260 per month before taxes. After just paying rent at one of the cheapest apartments, you're left with around $550 for literally everything else. Gas, car insurance, health insurance, phone, internet, food, electric. I get paid decently these days, but I'm still as frugal as they come. I'd be hard pressed to stay under that limit every single month. Especially since the rent will eventually rise or an emergency will happen. But sure, let these fast food workers live their lives every single day on the brink of homelessness, so the CEO can buy a new Mercedes. Don't think I'm advocating for hourly employees to make near as much as a CEO, of course, but if a business cannot pay their employees a living wage, they don't deserve to be in business.

    Tom T

    25 Aug 22 at 2:30 pm

  17. Really? 15.00 or more an hr. to flip a stupid hamburger or deep fry things? really? Why in the HELL should someone get paid that much for something as simple simon as this, when there are others that have skills that demand more out of a person that works for a high end retail job? Another reason places like Rush's and things are closing, is because of the cost and how much things are now? Are you really gonna pay nearly 7.00 for a damn hamburger and get crappy service from people not caring at all about their jobs without any customer service with bad attitudes? Burger flippers are NOT a special type or group of people..and I don't see nor do I agree with 15.00 an hr. So if you want a better paying job, find something else that is more high classed..and not Walmart either..that's just trashy Chinese crap your buying from them anyhow. I worked my ass off for nearly 27 years in retail and never got paid any 15.00 an hr, and that was all the way through 2009.


    25 Aug 22 at 4:24 pm

  18. And to those that work in FF or know of someone that does work as a Burger Flipper, explain to me just why YOU or they are worth 15.00 an hour as a regular employee..huh? And don't say the cost of living and things. I can see Belk's, or Penny's or some Office type job maybe..but a burger flipper? that's funny. What makes you special to get 15.00 or more an hour at a Hamburger joint? Inquiring minds wanna know.


    25 Aug 22 at 4:47 pm

  19. Man, imagine thinking an entire industry doesn't deserve a living wage because it would exceed what you made 13 years ago. Anyone working 40 hours a week or more deserve a roof over their head and food on the table. If you don't believe that, there can be no meaningful discussion.

    Tom T

    25 Aug 22 at 5:54 pm

  20. Fast food restaurants have always offered entry-level positions. If you are 25+ and not a manager then you have been passed by and that is unfortunately your lot in life.

    Everyone with any business acumen saw what was about to happen with the increase in wages...increased prices. Which is one of the reasons along with higher diesel gas costs that a trip through the drive thru is now setting us back close to $10 per person.

    Joe Shlabotnik

    26 Aug 22 at 3:32 am

  21. @db -- you're not banned, but I can't let that one stand. Please remember this is a site for all Columbians.



    27 Aug 22 at 1:21 pm

  22. "someone that does work as a Burger Flipper" = so demeaning. Shoving people into a category of low-life Burger Flippers.

    These "Burger Flippers" are providing a service that millions of people want, every single day.


    27 Aug 22 at 9:35 pm

  23. My husband used to be a district manager for one of the large retail chains. Yes, his job was more complicated than a cashier's job. Yes, he needs to be paid more for the complications + experience.

    I just don't think a cashier should be required to struggle through life. They at least deserve a stable home and enough money for basic needs. Happy, healthy employees do better work.


    27 Aug 22 at 9:39 pm

  24. While they're not doing it out of the kindness of their hearts, I am glad to see some places like Chick-fil-A paying their workers better. I'll continue to boycott places like Rush's that still pay poverty wages. I've noticed their prices keep going up pretty frequently, but it's certainly not going to the employees. The last few times I have gone, the food seems to be less quality than it used to be, so I doubt their price increases are going to that either.

    Tom T

    28 Aug 22 at 2:59 pm

  25. Gotta love these wage gatekeepers.

    Dan R

    28 Aug 22 at 6:22 pm

  26. Dan R. It's actually not cool to use current buzzwords to try to be hip with the youngins.
    Tom T. I'm sure inflation and rising cost of goods has nothing to do with rising prices at Rush's and all other food establishments. Chik-fil-a is a massive corporation with deeeeep pockets and locations all over the country. Rush's has how many locations locally?


    2 Sep 22 at 10:14 am

  27. Don’t try and gatekeep my words!

    Dan R

    2 Sep 22 at 10:19 am

  28. "Gatekeep" is a "current buzzword"? If nothing else, Urban Dictionary has an entry from March 2012. So the term is at least ten years old.


    2 Sep 22 at 7:08 pm

  29. Fact: I know the owner (Don) of Rush's, use to work for him.. He raised the price of a cheeseburger to almost $10ea - when covid started he ran off and purchased a home in Amstedam to go with him owning the whole top floor of senate plaze, and a home in Columbia. There is a reason why he is having to shutter stores presently, paying his employees pennys so he can have extra money to run back and forth between Amsterdam and Columbia, SC


    7 Sep 22 at 2:23 pm

  30. I can confirm everything Jeffrey says. Don lives a ridiculous lifestyle. He, Bill Rademacher (the vice president) and Meghan Burkett (she's just an accountant, but her father's on the Board of Directors of Rush's, so nepotism at its finest) all take an absurd salary. Meanwhile, they're cutting pay for managers, supervisors, hourly employees and even other corporate level employees. I know they've lost at least 2 HR people, 2 accountants, their 1 IT person, in addition to quite a few managers and supervisors in just the past year.

    Tom T

    16 Sep 22 at 11:06 pm

  31. Rush's has this press release announcing that this location is permanently closed (and I've seen articles in WIS & The State confirming such as well...


    3 May 24 at 6:40 pm

  32. Hate this one closed. It was almost like a secret location. I know...bad for business, but great for customers. It was NEVER as crowded as the one further into Lexington.


    7 May 24 at 8:19 am

  33. What Beth said about this lead me to realize that I have similar feelings towards the Piggly Wiggly #312 at 760 Highway 378 in Lexington ...I'd ride by a Lowe's Foods and a Publix to get to it and it was the least crowded of the 3 and that made it more enjoyable for me but COVID issues did that place in as well (they cited supply chain woes, price increases due to inflation and the fact that people weren't spending as much in a store visit as reasons)...

    Back to Rush's I have enjoyed many meals and milkshakes at all of the Rush's locations over the years...


    7 May 24 at 9:38 pm

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