Pizza Today - January 2021 - 45

at the end of the tunnel, they must learn
coping strategies.
Dennis McQuinn owns DYO Pizza
in Duncan, Oklahoma. DYO is a fastcasual shop with seating for 60 people.
McQuinn comments on the pandemic's
effect: " At first we were holding our own,
and all was good even though they shut
down dining rooms, because we had a
drive thru. Now that the dining rooms
are back open, we have seen a decline in
customers since they have an assortment
of different places to dine again. We are
also in the oilfield area that was hit hard
at the beginning of this mess; we have
seen a lot of people move away. "
McQuinn looked to industry leaders
for inspiration. He implemented pizza
kits, contactless delivery and take and
bake to maintain sales. McQuinn saw
the need to step out of his comfort zone
by doing live videos on social media
to convey DYO's message. Even with
expert help, McQuinn had concerns.
" Some days are better than others, "
he says. " It gets me upset when I hear
people say they love the place, and I
just wish they would share that to help
drive sales up. I do feel hopeless on some
days when we hardly cover the Labor
and COGS. We are the only fast casual
within 30 miles. "

Anxiety runs amuck in the full
service segment of our industry.
Greg Wadlow runs the family owned
Italian restaurant Monte Cellos in Wexford, Pennsylvania. Pizza put them on
the map back in 1980 and Monte Cellos
evolved into a full-service restaurant.
Wadlow told us, " The pandemic initially
caused great concern because no one
knew what things were going to look
like and turn into. We (as instructed) had
to close our dining room and were only
permitted to have delivery and takeout
as our only source of revenue. The initial
panic brought on by Covid made quite a
few people uncomfortable with home
delivery. Many of our customers seemed
to prefer the curbside pickup. With
the closing of our dining room, we lost
quite a few employees because we just
didn't have a need for them at that time.
Servers, bussers, hosts, bartenders and
dishwashers were all areas of significant

scaling back. "
The National Restaurant Association
(NRA) recognizes an invisible impact the
coronavirus has on those, a daily struggle
to maintain good mental health. Alas,
our industry sees its share of substance
abuse. Speaking with a doctor I was told
that while anti-anxiety medications can
help to take the edge off, it is not the
complete answer. Eight hours later the
effects of medication wear off but your
stresses remain.
Wadlow makes daily adjustments in
his approach. He adds: " There have been
some major changes, but none were
made by us, but rather made for us by the
health department, CDC, governor's
office, etc. We just went with the flow
and made the best of things. We didn't
really have many options. " He further
says that, " As for the stress, we have been
talking about it lately here at the restaurant. Although most of us are working
less hours per day, the stress level has not
diminished in direct correlation with the
hours. The whole thing is just odd - we
work less, but feel like we worked more,
and all the while the sales are down and
we close earlier than we used to. When
the pandemic hit, we shortened our
hours for the first time. "
Sales are not the only concern.
McQuinn adds, " The biggest issue we
have here is finding quality workforce.
With the government giving the extra
unemployment stimulus it was hard to
find anyone who wants to work. This has
required the family to step up and help
out more than usual, which causes the
wife and I to get a little short with each
other. We do have our times, but she is
my rock and my biggest cheerleader. "
Many call this workforce shortage the
'second wave' for our industry.
McQuinn opts for some self care to
cope with anxiety. " I am dealing with this
one day at a time with the help of my
family and friends. There are days I just
don't know if I can keep it going, but as
long as it covers the bills, I will do all I
can to succeed. I take extra time with
my grandson to help me get the store off
my mind. We are closed on Sundays so
that we have some down time and that is
when I get refueled. "
Wadlow adds: " I have been here for 31

years, and I have learned the only thing
you can count on is that you cannot
really count on anything. As far as how
I am dealing with the stress...what can
I do about it? I chose this business for a
living and I know that it could
always be worse. " Certainly, the restaurant industry has always been known for
long hours and slim margins.

A webinar sponsored by the
NRA offered suggestions for navigating the crisis.
* Enhance your spiritual life or selfcare. Do a small bit of yoga, needlepoint
or a crossword puzzle. For some, just
playing a game of catch forces you to
focus on something else, an incredible
stress reliever.
* Do service work. Check in on an
elderly neighbor, drop off a meal somewhere or volunteer. It will take you away
from your own problems.
* Start a journal. Write down what
you're grateful for. Focus on gratitude
and kindness, and have compassion for
yourself when you feel hopeless or upset.
This is an unprecedented moment in
history.
* Use technology to attend sobriety
meetings. People in recovery, especially
early recovery, rely on their interactions
with other recovering people, whether it's
through 12-step meetings, cups of coffee, or regular contact. There is a whole
network of Zoom meetings for recovery.
Or, pick up the phone and do it the
old-fashioned way. Avail yourselves of all
tools to stay on top of your sobriety.
Many restaurants now see the advantage of offering mental health benefits to
their employees. Here are a few apps and
websites recommended by the NRA that
can benefit you and your employees at
little or no cost.
1. ActiveMinds - a resource hub offering tips on stress management
2. PatientsLikeMe - Helps people find
treatments, connect with others and take
action to improve your outcome.
In the words of Winston Churchill: " If
you're going through hell, keep going. " n
SCOTT ANTHONY owns Punxsy Pizza in
Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

J A N UA R Y 2 0 2 1 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / 4 5

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http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Pizza Today - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - January 2021

Pizza Today - January 2021
Commentary
Digital
Conversation
Mike’s Monthly Tip
Man on the Street
Building Blocks
Tony’s Trending Recipe
Knead to Know
Destinations
Business Forecasting
Cleaning Protocols
Studying the Numbers
Lasagna
Small Market Menus
Chicken Pizzas
COVID-19 Mental Fatigue
New Year’s Business Resolutions
Product Showcase
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - January 2021 - CT1
Pizza Today - January 2021 - CT2
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Pizza Today - January 2021
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Cover2
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Commentary
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 4
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 5
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 6
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 7
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Digital
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 9
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Conversation
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 11
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Mike’s Monthly Tip
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 13
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 15
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Building Blocks
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 17
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Tony’s Trending Recipe
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 19
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 21
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 22
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 23
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Destinations
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 25
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Business Forecasting
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 27
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 28
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 29
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Cleaning Protocols
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 31
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 32
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 33
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Studying the Numbers
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 35
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 36
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 37
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Lasagna
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 39
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Small Market Menus
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 41
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Chicken Pizzas
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 43
Pizza Today - January 2021 - COVID-19 Mental Fatigue
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 45
Pizza Today - January 2021 - New Year’s Business Resolutions
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 47
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 48
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 49
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Product Showcase
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 51
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 53
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 54
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 55
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 56
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 57
Pizza Today - January 2021 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 59
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 60
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 61
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 62
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 63
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 64
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - January 2021 - 66
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Cover3
Pizza Today - January 2021 - Cover4
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