(WKBN) – From March until May, takeout was the only way to enjoy a meal from your favorite restaurants, and many local establishments couldn’t be happier about the increase they saw in those orders.
When COVID-19 shut the doors on businesses across the Valley, many took a hit financially.
But for restaurants known for take-out, they saw a different impact.
“When everybody started stocking up on the groceries, I feel like we were a little bit slower, but about a week or two after that, we just got very busy,” said Mario Lamarca, owner of Pizza Joe’s in Boardman.
Lamarca was forced to make changes inside his store, such as limiting customers inside and closing down seating.
However, the overall business coming in only improved.
“I’d say we’re definitely up about 20% for in May than we were the previous year,” Lamarca said.
In Warren, the Sunrise Inn already had a carry-out option, but when the pandemic hit, take-out orders flooded in.
“Carry-out numbers expanded greatly, but the bad thing is we had to lay off all of our servers, buss people, anybody who was related to in-dining. So that was the tough part, but anyone that worked in our kitchens worked because we were doing so much carry-out,” said Ken Haidaris of the Sunrise Inn.
Haidaris says the increase in take-out orders balanced having to close their dining room, which was a major part of their daily business before the coronavirus.
“It was a pretty good learning curve. It really was, making sure we get the appropriate times, so if we told somebody 45 minutes for a pizza for whatever time, it was actually that long. So it was really communication with our customers got a little better,” Haidaris said.
Both businesses say they are grateful they were able to keep their doors open during the pandemic and their customers fed.