The closure was primarily due to Bloomington’s labor shortages, Trap Mike’s co-founder and CEO Max Himelstein said.
Himelstein, an IU junior majoring in economic consulting and public policy analysis, said he and the other staff spent time and resources over the last two months posting and advertising job positions.
Himelstein said they tried to use websites like Indeed to fill the open positions, but it ended up unsuccessful because of unreliable new hires or applicants.
“People would not respond to our calls, or say they would come in for work or an interview and would not show up,” Himelstein said.
Retaining workers while still trying to find new applicants to fill others was difficult, Himelstein said.
The staffing issues caused him to have to work back in the kitchen and drive orders to help complete the necessary tasks to keep Trap Mike’s running, Himelstein said.
Himelstein said the combination of being a full-time student and running his own business during a staffing drought was very challenging. He said this was the main reason they closed despite the business succeeding here on campus.
On average during the weekend, Trap Mike’s was still completing 150 orders on Fridays and Saturdays since it opened, Himelstein said.
Himelstein said he was touched to see the support from those who have reached out since the announcement of the closing.
Trap Mike’s proposed moving its entire operation to Kilroy’s Sports’ kitchen by the beginning of this month, Himelstein said.
Himelstein said he would like to keep the possibility of bringing Trap Mike’s back open, but it will rely on whether he is able to increase his staffing and partner with a bar like Kilroy’s Sports.
“Rebooting the restaurant with a place like Kilroy’s Sports would offer us potential to come back even stronger,” Himelstein said.
Trap Mike’s closing is devastating for the students here at IU, junior Ethan Parness said.
Parness said ordering from the restaurant had become a part of his routine over the last year when eating late at night. He said he feels it was one of the only options for food here on campus past midnight.
“It was really easy to order, and the hours made it very accessible to order,” Parness said.
Trap Mike’s broke into the local late night food business, helping it become more of a part of the culture here on campus, Parness said.
“Trap Mike’s definitely enduvered itself into the IU culture the last nine months,” Parness said.