In February 2019, Worley mentioned the enterprise was in a position to regain its rhythm by the assistance of a Small Enterprise Administration Mortgage. For a yr, he mentioned issues have been going nice, then one other impediment struck — the pandemic.
“In March, COVID got here and adjusted all the pieces,” Worley mentioned. “When Kemp did the shelter in place, we needed to shut instantly down for 2 weeks. Since that point, our gross sales have been far and wide.”
In the course of the pandemic, Worley mentioned The Collegiate Grill went from serving 80% of shoppers in-house, to as an alternative serving 80% to-go.
Worley mentioned the restaurant turned overwhelmed with to-go orders, which induced the wait time inside to skyrocket, making many in-house clients indignant.
“For each in-house ticket, there have been eight to-go tickets, and there could also be 10 gadgets on one particular person to-go ticket,” he mentioned. “There could also be solely two individuals inside ready 45 minutes for a burger.”
Earlier than the pandemic, Worley mentioned he had by no means witnessed a excessive stage of upset clients at his enterprise. After working lengthy hours six days per week and not making any progress, he made a tricky alternative.
On Wednesday, Sept. 30, The Collegiate Grill briefly closed.
“I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath mentally,” Worley mentioned. “I used to be working so tirelessly that I couldn’t pause and determine what the issue was. It was a Wednesday morning, and I referred to as Donna and mentioned, ‘I can’t do it.’”
Throughout their non permanent closure, Worley mentioned each he and his spouse have been in a position to deal with the restaurant’s renovations — together with redoing its flooring — and resolve find out how to restructure the enterprise.
Worley mentioned proper now they’re contemplating solely taking to-go orders Monday by Friday and opening the restaurant on Saturdays for in-house eating solely.
By early December, the co-owners goal to reopen The Collegiate Grill.
“We look ahead to a really sunny vibrant and optimistic future,” Worley mentioned. “We’re actually excited concerning the enhancements we’re making. We’ve simply obtained to navigate by COVID like we’ve navigated by all the pieces else.”