It’s no secret that the past 9 months have been incredibly difficult for our Well Crafted family and EVERYONE within the restaurant industry and beyond. The most recent stats from the National Restaurant Association estimates that 10,000 restaurants are expected to close their doors permanently over the next 3 weeks. 110,000 restaurants nationwide have already closed their doors due to COVID and it has been estimated that just 15% of independent restaurants will actually survive this pandemic. A recent survey by The Restaurant Association of Maryland found that 45% of restaurant operators statewide said it is unlikely their restaurant will be in business six months from now.
The thought of the devastation surrounding our industry is heart-breaking for so many reasons. The dreams that are being lost are just the smallest part of it all (and that says a lot!). The humble livelihoods of our co-workers, farmers & makers, and restaurant industry professionals who work so incredibly hard every single day are at risk. Their financial wellbeing is one thing. Their mental wellbeing as a result of their careers and paychecks going away is another! It is heartbreaking, scary, and so devastating. Restaurants are the backbone of our communities and the idea of 85% of independent restaurants could be going away is unimaginable.
Which is why we feel like we need to use our voices. These numbers are so very real. Over the past 9 months, our team has worked harder than we have ever worked to fight to be that 15% who keep our doors open! As the dining restrictions close revenue channels of our business, we are striving week to week to just break even. The reality is, we will be losing money each week until it is safe to gather and eat together again (inside or outside). Year on year, our sales are down over 50%. For an industry where margins are slim already, this is not sustainable. In addition to maximizing our resources and minimizing our expenses, we do need action from the government in the form of a relief bill to help us through this pandemic.
We knew the closure of the Beer Garden was imminent. In fact, we respect Mayor Scott for taking strong quick action on his first day of office to fight this pandemic and set new restrictions. We believe the only way we will actually all get through this is if we put an end to the spread of COVID. Yes, eliminating all indoor and outdoor dining deeply impacts our business, but the safety of our team and our Pizza Pals is the most important! If we all work together to end the spread of COVID, we might actually get to enjoy a meal together again in the foreseeable future without the fear of safety in our minds.
Over the past few weeks, our Beer Garden sales for outdoor dining have made up about 25% of our weekly income. In order to be among the 15% of independent restaurants that still make up our community post pandemic, we need to increase our Dockside Pick-Up or Truck Stop sales by 25% each week throughout the winter! With your help, we can do it.
The time is now. Please support our small business and our 11 team members throughout the winter by becoming a Pizza Pal Subscriber. Being a subscriber gives us financial stability when we fall short of our break even week to week. It also gives you a discount on most of our pizzas, and if you sign up before the end of the year you get a FREE Pizza! Win win, all around.
If being a subscriber and/or joining us for a locally sourced meal through Dockside Pick-up each week isn’t in your budget at this time, you can still support our small biz and our team by telling your friends and family about Well Crafted and encouraging them to enjoy a meal with us! You can send our team some love through social media or email, and better yet, leave us a positive Google Review! If you are a Pizza Pal who lives afar, consider gifting a subscription to someone you love in Baltimore. Wherever you may be, please go out and support your favorite restaurant week after week throughout the winter! If the thought of a business going away makes you sad, find a way to support them! We all need you now more than ever.
It is going to be a long and challenging winter, but with your help, we are confident we can make it through this together!