Crystal Restaurant Milton’s Grateful to Be Open: ‘We Were One of the Lucky Ones’
The owner of a Crystal restaurant that was on the brink of closing during the height of the pandemic says they have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.
“We were one of the lucky ones,” said Francine Weber, owner of Milton’s.
She says there was a time when she didn’t know if the restaurant would survive during the peak of the pandemic. Covid took away revenue from the family-owned restaurant and its catering business.
“Overall, with everything, we were down 60-70 percent,” Weber said. The neighborhood restaurant had to change its business plan during COVID-19 constantly.
“Every day was completely different, trying to figure out the business, trying to get business in, what to do with food,” explained the owner.
Milton’s revamped the take-out menu and even offered meals that people could cook at home. But the owner had to reduce restaurant and staff hours.
Workers say they are grateful to have a job still because so many people are out of work.
“I’ve been working here almost five years, and through thick and thin, Fran is always there for us,” said Milton’s employee Keith Whitehead.
Weber says while things are starting to turn around, there are still some hurdles to overcome. Weber says food costs have gone up due to supply-chain issues, and they’ve had to take some items off the menu.
“We’ve had to take our ribeye off the menu, and it’s almost $20 a pound,” said the disappointed owner.
Meanwhile, Weber says she’s grateful for her staff and the community support during these unprecedented times.
“I get a little emotional about it. They’ve been great,” said Weber.