‘It’s hard to recover from’: Glen Allen Hondos heads into Mother’s Day weekend under cloud of COVID-19

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Restaurants already struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 expect to be dealt another blow come Sunday.

As moms celebrate their day with loved ones, the holiday won’t likely mean an uptick in revenue as dining rooms remain closed amid coronavirus concerns. Some restaurants who spoke with 8News, but did not want to be identified said the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 is hurting business. Many say they’re either closed or losing a lot of money and shutdowns Mother’s Day weekend won’t help.

“You can never equal the sales that we do when we’re able to fill up the restaurant,” said Hondos Steakhouse in Glen Allen General Manager John Sweeney.

Hondos, like many other Virginia restaurants, are working hard to bring in revenue, even if it’s a fraction of what they’re used to making. Executive orders and cancellations have robbed many, however, of what is usually considered a busy weekend.

“It’s one of our busiest weekends of the year,” Sweeney said of Mother’s Day and graduations. “The Friday, Saturday and Sunday are just sold out each time. So, they’re very big days.”

This year, that’s far from the case.

“Mother’s Day, I think we’ll probably do about 35 percent of what we usually do, but for the weekend we’ll do 20 percent of the sales we usually do,” Sweeney told 8News. “It’s like going from 100 miles-per-hour to running into a brick wall. It’s all, then nothing.”

Sweeney remembers a time when his restaurant was packed before having to close its doors. With the anticipation of a busy weekend lost, Sweeney says all restaurants have to come to grips with the temporary reality of lowered expectations.

“It’s tough to give up that much in sales,” Sweeney said. “We’re fortunate we’ve been around for 20-something years, but things like this hurts everyone really bad. So, it’s hard to recover from.”

Despite the difficult circumstances, Hondos remains open for business.

“We’ve been working it hard on trying to get any business we can, and anybody we know, knowing about it,” he added.

Hondos is still accepting over-the-phone orders for Mother’s Day until 4 p.m. Saturday. Additionally, the steakhouse is open for curbside pickups.

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