At the start of the pandemic, we closed all of our restaurants. Although restaurants were allowed to continue making take out, sending people out into the world to take the bus and make sandwiches seemed inessential. When we felt comfortable with different workplace safety practices, in June 2020, we reopened Mamaleh’s. We washed our hands at half-hour intervals, wore masks and watched our distance. We implemented many other state and federal practices, but we kept a vigilant focus on these as they seemed to be the main vector of the disease.
At the time, restaurants weren’t allowed to dine inside, so we had to do window service which was fine with Mamaleh’s as we had wrapped bagels in foil before. , sandwiches in paper, and it wasn’t. that a lot of stretching to keep doing it.
We started to notice pretty quickly that with the ground crew missing from the equation, we were starting to see an improvement in our numbers. In addition to the reduced labor budget, we were able to do more business without customers in the dining room.
We never realized that eating indoors was holding us back in terms of production. Our kitchen could only hold a limited number of refrigerators, freezers, and unique equipment such as bagel slicers and huge cream cheese mixers. Now we can use parts of the dining room to hold these items. This Passover we doubled our 2019 sales record. We were able to invite a lot more people to order and not disappoint them with sold out sales on some of the favorites, things you need like a Seder plate and all sweet foods.