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Greater Cleveland Restaurants Adapt To Carry-Out Life

Ohio’s decision to ban patrons from dining in-house left restaurant and bar owners with a difficult choice: either close the doors completely or offer carry-out and delivery service.

ideastream spoke to Chef Brian Linihan, owner of Marotta's in Cleveland Heights to see how his business was faring since the ban was announced on March 15.

 Linihan considered closing Marotta's when he heard about the ban, but the opportunity to offer carry-out helped change his mind. Linihan’s decision was more than just about business.

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[Marotta's-Rustic Italian Food & Libations]

“I have four children. I need to feed them. Carry-out is something I have to do on occasion. People are happy we’re open, because they are busy. Their lives are changing. They're doing online schooling with the children or working out of their homes. They don't have time or the capability to go a store,” Linihan said.

Much of Marotta’s business was already carry-out, so the transition to solely focusing on patrons picking up food wasn’t difficult.

Keeping customers and employees safe is Linihan's chief concern

“We are constantly cleaning down everything, door handles, windows, glass counters, credit card machine, pens. Keeping a distance, that's the big thing they say, six feet, we have to keep that distance from each other at the restaurant. We're able to do that,” Linihan said.

mar_insets_bolognese_800x554.jpg

[Marotta's Rustic Italian Food and Libations]

 Linihan said that by being open he isn't just feeding  customers, but also allowing them to maintain their dining routines before the virus hit.

“We get a lot of calls from the customers saying they are happy that we're open and that they were looking forward to this all week,” Linihan said. For them it is a normalcy thing. They want that normal weekly pizza.”

So far, so good Linihan said for Marotta's but he understands that the sitation is ever-evolving.

"We're listening to the governor. We're listening to Washington,. We will listen to everyone, not to say 'how far can we push this,' but it's just at a point where (they say) 'this is it,' or it reaches the point like it  is in Italy, where everything is shut down. I personally feel we at might reach that point where this isn't the right thing to do any more and people have to hunker down," Linihan said.

 

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