CINCINNATI — Since the start of the pandemic, many restaurants have closed left and right, but one local barbecue joint has changed up its business model to adjust with the trying times.
What You Need To Know
- Many restaurants have struggled during the pandemic
- Sweets and Meats Barbecue has changed up its business model to adjust with the trying times
- Online ordering and curbside pickup now accounts for 50 percent of the company’s restaurant business
- CEO and Co-Owner Kristen Bailey says pre-ordering has also helped reduce waste and labor costs
Sweets and Meats Barbecue is in its sixth year of business, but 2020 has brought about challenges it could’ve never foreseen.
“At one point, I was up for 24 hours doing what needs to be done, going out to serve the masses. We need any business that we can get, so we’re willing to take it all,” said Kristen Bailey, CEO of Sweets and Meats.
Bailey said they’ve had to take any and all of the business they can just to stay afloat.
The business has had more than 160 events cancel since March, leaving it nearly $500,000 in the red.
“There was a time back in March where we honestly thought we were going to fold,” explained Bailey. ”We a deficit of upwards of $400,000 and we’ve been able to cut that and trim that by being smart about the way we do business.”
Recently, the restaurant has been able to cut that deficit way down due to online ordering and curbside pickup, which now accounts for 50 percent of the company’s restaurant business.
“We’ve been able to pivot very well. We’ve taken the food trucks out into neighborhoods, we started doing boxed lunches which were new to us,” Bailey said. “I had no idea that I’d be taking the food truck out every day of the week and going into neighborhoods, parking lots and driveways. It’s been a huge blessing.”
Bailey said preordering has also helped reduce waste and labor costs — increasing profits across the board.
“We are just trying to break even this year,” Bailey said. “This is not going to be a year of growth, unfortunately. If we break even and we come out on the other side we are OK with that.”
During a time when many restaurants are going belly up, Bailey is relieved to say Sweets and Meats is booked and blessed.