CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Restaurants across the Charlotte area asked the community to support the Great American Takeout on March 24 as the restaurant industry struggles through the COVID-19 crisis.

Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano is one of many restaurants that have had to make changes and adjustments as dining rooms have been closed.

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“We went from dine-in primarily business where 90% of your business is dine-in and 10% is to-go, or you know, through delivery apps,” said Norberto Sanchez, CEO of Norsan, which owns Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano.

“Now all of a sudden it’s the other way around,” he said.

The restaurant is now offering a special takeout menu to cater to curbside carryout orders and delivery.

Sanchez said sales dropped by 50%, then down to 90% due to the COVID-19 crisis. The Great American Takeout push is one way he said customers can continue to help out their industry so they can make it through this challenging time.

“This is the time to help support your favorite restaurants. Hopefully, Luciano’s is one of them,” Sanchez said. “That’s why we encourage and support the local businesses and support the restaurants because we want to, we want to continue being here after all this happens.”

In Concord, 44 Mills Kitchen & Tap is facing the same challenges. Its doors are shut to the outside, but employees are working to provide hot takeout meals to customers who arrive curbside.

“They’re able to take the same dining experience that they would have inside the restaurant and the same flavor, the same quality, it’s just inside of a to-go container,” said Michael Watson, executive chef and partner in 44 Mills Kitchen & Tap.

The restaurant is now offering to-go and provisions menus, wine, growlers, and family packs to better serve the needs of its customers.

“We’re focusing a lot on what the family wants, you know, when it comes to the hearty meals,” Watson said.

Nikki Wolfe, senior community director with Yelp Charlotte, put together a list of hundreds of takeout/curbside pickup options during the COVID-19 crisis.
Participate in the Great American Takeout by supporting your favorite local restaurant on March 24 and use #GreatAmericanTakeout on social media.

original publication via WCNC