In February 2019, Worley mentioned the enterprise was in a position to regain its rhythm by means of the assistance of a Small Enterprise Administration Mortgage. For a yr, he mentioned issues had been going nice, then one other impediment struck — the pandemic.
“In March, COVID got here and altered all the things,” 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 everywhere.”
Through the pandemic, Worley mentioned The Collegiate Grill went from serving 80% of consumers in-house, to as a substitute serving 80% to-go.
Worley mentioned the restaurant grew to become overwhelmed with to-go orders, which precipitated the wait time inside to skyrocket, making many in-house clients offended.
“For each in-house ticket, there have been eight to-go tickets, and there could also be 10 objects 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 degree 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 quickly 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 establish what the issue was. It was a Wednesday morning, and I referred to as Donna and mentioned, ‘I can’t do it.’”
Throughout their short-term closure, Worley mentioned each he and his spouse have been in a position to give attention to the restaurant’s renovations — together with redoing its flooring — and determine find out how to restructure the enterprise.
Worley mentioned proper now they’re contemplating solely taking to-go orders Monday by means of Friday and opening the restaurant on Saturdays for in-house eating solely.
By early December, the co-owners intention to reopen The Collegiate Grill.
“We look ahead to a really sunny vibrant and optimistic future,” Worley mentioned. “We’re actually excited in regards to the enhancements we’re making. We’ve simply bought to navigate by means of COVID like we’ve navigated by means of all the things else.”