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While the ongoing pandemic has wreaked havoc on the restaurant industry, it hasn’t stopped the ingenuity of independent restaurants nationwide. Many are finding new ways to offer the familiar favorites and comfort food their loyal customers are seeking more than ever.
“It’s uplifting to see how many neighborhood restaurants have adapted to better serve their customers during these unprecedented times,” said Alyca Judge, senior marketing manager at General Mills Foodservice, which hosts the annual Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest that celebrates local restaurants.
“The impact of COVID-19 on our beloved restaurants only underscores the special role they play in the hearts of their customers and our communities.”
Switching up menus to reflect changing tastes
Taking care of the regulars
Myles Buersken, whose parents have run the restaurant—known for its robust breakfast menu and homestyle cooking—for 25 years, says they are grateful they never had to close their doors completely and credits the cafe’s customers and local community for their overwhelming support.
“We were determined to do our best and find ways to continue to serve our loyal customers,” said Buersken, who added that the restaurant has a number of customers who come in every day and some who come for both breakfast and lunch. “It has been touching to see some of our customers show up with tears in their eyes and eager to support us. We are proud to continue to serve them the food they love.”
Family meal kits
May often posts Facebook videos to promote select menu items on specific days, such as Taco Tuesday, Way-Back Wednesday and Taquito Thursday, which also happens to be kids’ day—kids get a free meal with purchase of an entree.
“During these chaotic times, I think we are all craving a bit of routine,” said May. “Doing the family meals and having ‘day of the week’ specials has been well received as customers know what to expect on these days and it helps our staff keep their sanity, too.”
For information on this year’s Neighborhood to Nation Recipe Contest with $100,000 up for grabs for local restaurants, please visit www.NeighborhoodtoNation.com.
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