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Employee with Down syndrome helps brighten up Virginia Beach restaurant

Posted: 3:32 PM, Mar 20, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-20 18:29:26-04
BoBo's Fine Chicken Owner with employee Ian Smith

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Small businesses are trying to make the most of these difficult times as the coronavirus concerns continue.

News 3 stopped by BoBo’s Fine Chicken in the 3100 block of Shore Drive in Virginia Beach Friday morning.

"I’ve worked here since day one," said Ian Smith.

Smith has Down Syndrome and has been working at BoBo's for two years.

"My favorite thing about working here is bussing tables, making sure everything is cleaned up and help take care of customers and I love being at work with Bo," said Smith.

Owner Bo Midget said Smith is a very hard worker, a jokester and is constantly entertaining.

He said when times are tough and stressful, Smith brightens up the restaurant with his personality.

"He will lighten the mood, and that’s the best part about Ian," said Midget.

They’ve shut down the dining room because of concerns over the coronavirus, but they've kept their drive-thru open, which has been helping financially.

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March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day.

Bosses like Midget said they are happy to have employees like Smith helping serve his family’s home-cooked recipes to a community he loves.

"They're local recipes, they are local ingredients. The chicken is my grandmother's recipe, and it’s Southern food," said Midget.

Midget said Smith is part of the BoBo family.

Places that operate like a family in these difficult times.

"He makes good food here. I want to thank you for hiring me since day one," said Smith.

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