NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio — News 5 has been telling you about the dire warnings that many restaurants may not survive the pandemic, and now there’s even more bad news.
Thursday, the Columbus Dispatch published a survey from the Ohio Restaurant Association finding that three out of five restaurants may have to close within the next six months if they don't get government support.
Thirty-eight percent of the state's restaurants said sales are down by more than half compared to a year ago.
And 41% said sales are down between 20 and 50%.
Throughout the pandemic, News 5 has been showcasing how restaurants are fighting to keep going and now the owners of Danny Boy’s Pizza are speaking out about the struggles they’re facing.
The owners said they’ve been lucky compared to some other local family-owned restaurants, but they still need help and they’re doing all they can to keep customers coming and sales from dipping any further.
“We've been a family owned business since '91,” Camden Grendow, owner of Danny Boy’s Pizza, said.
Many say Danny Boy’s has some of the best pizza in town.
“The Clevelander pie is one of probably my favorites, if not a fan favorite. It's going to be a New York thin crust with garlic and cheese and pepperoni and extra sauce loaded on top,” Grendow said.
But this year has been rocky even for a fan fave like Danny Boy’s.
“It's definitely been a change for all of us,” Grendow said.
Grendow said Danny Boy’s has hit some rough patches over the course of the pandemic. Sales are down across all six of its locations in northeast Ohio, from 75% in Sandusky to 35% in North Olmsted, which is their newest location that opened 4 years ago.
Right now, they’re having problems with staffing there exacerbated by the pandemic.
“It was probably heightened or intensified during the pandemic as far as people being either sick or afraid to come in or we didn't need people to come in because of lack of business,” Grendow said.
But despite that, he said all things considered, they’ve been lucky.
“We’ve seen some good friends go out of business which has been sad and tough for us,” Grendow said.
Grendow credits strong carry-out sales and strict hygiene standards for keeping them afloat.
“We've had an established carry out delivery business beforehand and so we were kind of in a prime position to be able to adapt to this,” Grendow said. “We've been trying to go above and beyond CDC guidelines."
But he said they still need help.
“We are facing a different beast every day—whether it be a higher number of cases or a higher number of hospitalizations or a new CDC code that we have to follow,” Grendow said.
They are calling on the community to do whatever they can to help Danny Boy’s and others in the restaurant business.
“Anyway, anyhow. Even a Facebook share or an Instagram repost or anything like that. Anything is appreciated at this point,” Grendow said.
Danny Boy’s in North Olmsted is closed on Monday, but if you want to get your snacks for the Browns game, their other five locations are open until 9 p.m.
Grendow is also hiring for positions at the North Olmsted location. More information can be found here.
Tell us about a business or group of businesses that are finding ways (responsibly, of course) to serve their communities during Ohio's "stay at home" order by visiting our We're Open! Northeast Ohio page.
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