PUEBLO — Restaurants are still fighting to keep their businesses afloat.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions and people still being cautious, traffic is way down for some local mom and pop shops and they're looking for strategies to survive.
"It has impacted greatly. We miss our customers," said Cecelia Melgosa. She and Jake Pacheco are the owners of 5th & Main Espresso Bar in Pueblo. While they're able to do dine-in services Melgosa said, '"People have been coming in, but it's not as much and people still will walk in and say "Are you open?"'
Pacheco said,"Half of the seating's gone...the volume's not where it used to be."
Even when there are customers Melgosa said, "Cost of food has gone up."
Pacheco said, "The cost of everything because of the changes of everything. Everything has to be disposable."
All that combined means revenue is low and some future plans are now on hold.
Melgosa said, "Right before this happened we were going to hire someone."
Now, they're trying out different strategies to keep their doors open.
Melgosa said, "We are going to continue working and do what we do, minimize our menu, change it up a little bit, offer more trendy kind of sandwiches, soup and salads."
Strategizing - that's exactly what the Southern Colorado Small Business Development Center is encouraging restaurants to do right now.
Transitional Director Iris Clark said, "It's a good time to step back and take a look at all of the processes. Reinforce your marketing, up your marketing, don't just stop marketing."
These tips and more will be presented during a free Zoom class on Monday, July 13. The seminar will be put on by SBDC and other partners.
Clark said, "They will talk about survival strategies, things you need to do now. Don't do nothing, do something...we have to think ahead about where we want to be when this is over and I don't think any of us want to be living in a town with boarded up windows and empty storefronts."
CLICK HERE for more information on the free class.