Working from home feels like a godsend to many Americans, but for longtime pizzeria owners in Worcester, Massachusetts, it has proven bad for business. So bad that Brunilda and Andrea Gramo will finally have to close Woosta Pizza for good on March 15.

As they explained to, remote employees in Worcester simply don’t eat out enough anymore. “Every company is working from home now,” Brunilda lamented. She said upkeep costs on Woosta Pizza’s property have been rising while foot traffic keeps declining in Worcester’s downtown area.

“After COVID-19, it’s been a little bit difficult. So that’s why we made the decision to depart from here,” Brunilda said.

Woosta Pizza’s original owner, Michael Hill, moved the restaurant from Worcester’s Franklin Street into a former McDonald’s building on Main Street in 1997. In 2005, he sold it to the Gramos, allowing Andrea to fulfill his dream of being a chef.

For 19 years, the Gramos have run Woosta Pizza in the heart of Worcester, right next to city hall. Offering pizza, calzones, sub sandwiches and more, the convenient location made it a good spot for employees of local businesses seeking dine-in, carryout and delivery meals. In fact, Woosta offers free delivery within a three-mile radius with a minimum $10 order.

But that hasn’t been enough to keep the lights on. Even so, they’re not quitting the food industry entirely. They plan to make a trip to their native country of Greece to reset and return with a new business. “We will be in the same industry,” Brunilda said.

US Foods noted in 2023 that the loss of weekday foot traffic for restaurants could be at least partially offset by a rise in weekend business, as workers who have been toiling at home all week long are looking to get out of the house and enjoy a dine-in experience.

US Foods also made some suggestions to restaurants struggling with loss of weekday foot traffic due to remote working:

  • Develop an “incredible” lunch menu that includes to-go and in-house dining deals.
  • Develop your own delivery app.
  • Create a loyalty program specifically for remote workers.

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