HARLINGEN — Joshua Garcia, a Favor delivery guy, waits outside Wing Barn at Stuart Place Road for the order he will deliver. Garcia said this is the best safety option there is to getting food and supporting local businesses at this time.
Amid coronavirus times, Tuesday March 24 has been named “Great American Takeout Day” by more than a 100 national restaurants.
Wing Barn is one of the local businesses in Cameron County which has had to improvise and change their strategies since dine-in options have been banned for the time being.
Wing Barn does not have a drive-through but it was also not prepared for curbside.
“We had never done curbside and usually our takeout businesses take 30 to 35 percent and now it is basically 100 percent and it happened over night,” CEO Bobby Saenz said.
“We’ve been able to adjust to a completely new business model in a matter of days. So we went from not offering curbside to only offering that. A lot of challenges we’ve had to figure out but my team has stepped up and things are going well,” Saenz said.
Currently, Wing Barn is offering daily specials to streamline the menu and alleviate car traffic.
Saenz mentioned how the locations do not have hand-held devices to take credit cards but employees have been coming in and out to charge every customer.
“We are grateful for the people of Harlingen supporting us and the team working hard,” he said.
Besides Wing Barn other locally owned businesses that were not used to curbside takeout have had to transition to keep business going.
The Oyster Bar in Harlingen began offering curbside takeout as well as delivery since last Saturday and will continue to do so as long as they can, said owner Mary Lompra.
The restaurant was founded by Justo Barrientes and has been in business since 1976.
“It has been a little difficult. We are a sit down restaurant, we are not like McDonalds or Chick Fil A and we adjust and we still want to be here,” Lompra said.
The usual menu the restaurant offers is available for takeout and delivery and the Oyster Bar is currently giving a 20 percent discount to first responders.
“We do not charge for delivery but we are new to this. It feels unreal but we are not giving up and we are taking it day by day,” Lompra said.
“We have been through hurricanes and other things where you see an end but this is different. It is worldwide,” she said.
A few other local businesses that had offered curbside takeout decided to close while the shelter in place executive order takes place such as Antigua Bakery Café and Bandera Coffee.
Lompra said she worries about her staff and wants to continue to be open.
“We have a lot of employees who live paycheck to paycheck and we have to keep going,” she said.