The Delta variant slowed business in many restaurants, but Common Bond Cafe has survived by adapting and expanding.
HOUSTON – It was a busy scene at the Common Bond Cafe in Montrose on Monday. And if it weren’t for the masks, you might not even know that this Labor Day brunch was completely different than any other year.
But if you take a closer look, you might just be able to see how much has changed from previous Houston Restaurant Weeks.
“We have a lot of time when we’re as busy as we are now, we wouldn’t even answer the phone … well, 50-60% of our business is takeout, delivery, curb,” said George Joseph, CEO of Common Bond Cafe
Joseph has operated this location since 2014 and has attended the Houston Restaurant Weeks since then.
While the restaurant weeks last year also took place in the wake of the pandemic, this year’s campaign coincided with an additional hurdle – the increase in the delta variant.
“Restaurants started to fill up again and our gross sales increased from the year before COVID,” said Joseph. “And then now – in August it was softened by the Delta variant. People are getting more and more nervous. Restaurant Weeks, in all likelihood, helped us to be a little bit more next to where we would have been. ”The customer review has been automatically translated from German.
And it exhibits within the workforce. According to the Bureau of Labor, the leisure and hospitality industry had increased 350,000 jobs nationwide in the past six months. It stagnated in August.
“We were lucky because our culture is strong. We didn’t lay off people during the pandemic. We work hard to make people feel part of the team, we have our core values, ”said Joseph. “But since we’ve expanded and people are moving up and we’re trying to get people into the industry, we know a lot of people left the industry because of the pandemic. It’s hard work. “
So much remains unknown as the pandemic persists, but their means of adjustment help them move forward in even the most difficult of essentially cases. Common Bond will open its eighth location in downtown Houston later this month.
“We learned a lot. We have improved so much. “
Common Bond has served over 430 meals for diner weeks and will donate $ 5,000 to the Houston Food Bank. They even added drive-through places to keep the store accessible.