Video: Passing the Test of Closing and Re-Opening Your Pizzeria

In this installment of PMQ Live Update, host Brian Hernandez visits with U.S. Pizza Team member Lenny Rago of Panino’s Pizzeria in Chicago. A month ago, Rago decided to close down his shop due to the pandemic while still paying his employees. Now he’s open again. So how are things going now?
Though the business was closed to customers and the public, Rago never stopped working. During the four-week closure, he took the time to develop Panino’s online ordering site, planned and executed mail and database marketing campaigns, applied for a Payment Protection Program loan with the help of PMQ’s very own Accounting For Your Money contributor Michael Rasmussen, and, last but not least, deep-cleaned the location.
After reopening, he said, “It was Friday every day for the first week, probably the most amount of sales we’ve had at Panino’s in such a short amount of time,” Rago explains. “[I wanted] to make sure to open with a customer base because I had every employee on for the whole week. That week nobody took a day off, nobody cut hours, everybody [was] on, like a Friday night, and thank God I did. It worked out well.”