The Lost Dog Cafe has seen revenue fall significantly at all of its five locations during the COVID-19 crisis, however, it expects to pull through and remain open due to the amazing support it has seen from neighborhood residents, like those in the Westover area. Take-out orders remain strong and the restaurant has developed a system for maintaining appropriate social distancing by asking patrons to enter through the front door, pick up orders at the counter, and exit through the rear dining room. Customers may also wait for orders at the bar area. This system, however, makes it very difficult for the restaurant to transition to dine-in service. The restaurant considered patio seating in the parking lot, however, this could impact the curbside pick-up options offered by Lost Dog and other shops in the center. Curbside pick-up is very easy to coordinate through the Lost Dog website.
Currently the Lost Dog’s best revenue sources are direct take-out and delivery orders, explains Austin Garcia, Director of Operations. While Lost Dog has relationships with third party delivery services, the commissions are extremely high (20-30%) and all restaurants are particularly sensitive to these added costs while relying so heavily on take-out orders for survival. Calling the Lost Dog directly or ordering through the website provides the same services as the third parties.
The Lost Dog sees the biggest surge in orders on Friday nights. While grateful for the support, they encourage patrons to consider ordering on other days or times of the week. Lunch orders have taken the biggest hit during the crisis, likely because so many people are working at home. Hours are slightly shorter right now, however The Lost Dog remains open for both lunch and dinner meals.
The restaurant vowed to not lay off any workers during this crisis and while some employees chose to leave, the restaurant hopes to hire them back as soon as possible, particularly as the restaurant re-opens for table service.
In other news, The Stray Cat has launched a new menu and soon a new website. While closed temporarily, the plan is to re-open soon, ideally by mid-summer. Additionally the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation has seen record numbers of fostered and rescued animals during the crisis.
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