Bucky Spoth is part of a third generation of family members who have been owners of Geraci's Restaurant, the University Heights Italian institution that expanded to Pepper Pike and Mayfield Village in the last few years. His maternal grandparents opened the restaurant in 1956, and since then it's been a family affair.
With delivery and takeout the only means for restaurants to survive during the pandemic crisis, Geraci's is trying to do as much as they can to support employees.
"For people who are solely dependent on their paycheck from us, we tried to keep their hours pretty much close to what they've been," Spoth said. "Right now, we're grateful that pizza is one of those first of mind type foods that people think of. We're trying to keep it one hour at a time with how we operate. Keep checking in with each other and with the three locations and see how many people we can keep employed. Make sure we can pay for our food costs. And go from there. The last couple of days we've probably been at about 50% revenue, but we're lucky, Geraci's has always been known as a takeout business in addition to dining in. I feel horrible for friends and family in the industry who rely on alcohol sales for 90% of their business."
Geraci's is fortunate enough to be in locations where they can safely offer curbside pick-up. You can place an order and pay via their website.
"We're constantly focusing on what local places are doing," he said in regard to best practices. "What restaurants are doing around the country. When people come in and get take out, which we're trying to space out to limit the number of customers inside at a certain time, we're wiping down the doors, the counter. Whatever we can."
Spoth had some general words of wisdom for the situation facing restaurants and the populace as a whole: "I'd say in general, the most important thing with all of this is we gotta stick together. We're trying to cling on to a business. We're trying to support a family. We're trying to keep people employed. There's all this unknown. We've all gotta have some patience. I know everyone's on edge but we have to take care of each other. Think of these local businesses first. There's going to be a lot of us who don't make it out of this - nothing's guaranteed and I don't see what the final remedy will be so we just have to be conscious of what's going on around us."