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Restaurants and hotels across the country prepare to offer Easter take-out

Posted at 12:58 PM, Apr 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-10 15:17:27-04

With Easter Sunday this weekend, many are having to think of different ways to celebrate amid stay-at-home orders amid the virus pandemic. That includes restaurants and hotels, too.

"Typically, we do about 1,100 people for Easter brunch," said Kelly Brock of The Peabody Memphis.

"Easter is usually huge for us at the Southern Porch," said Chelsea Samples, of the Atlanta-area restaurant The Southern Porch.

The Easter Sunday spread at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis usually attracts hundreds of people.

"It's a massive buffet that's up here on the mezzanine level,” Brock explained. “There are food stations all around, including a 32-foot dessert buffet. There's prime rib, and there's waffles and all kinds of stuff.”

With their normal Easter brunch shut down this year due to COVID-19 concerns and social distancing recommendations, many in the hospitality and restaurant industries are instead trying to serve a traditional Easter meal to-go.

For the Southern Porch,

"With Easter, we typically run specials and things like that. But this year, it was kind of just what do we do to still get good food to good people? How do we keep our business afloat?" said Samples.

The Southern Porch has been taking to social media to spread their message, offering up four-person Easter meals and even drinks to-go.

Peabody Memphis is doing the same.

"We really wanted to make it feel as bountiful as if you were here in the hotel," said Brock.

Restaurants and hotels across the country are already trying to find innovative ways to make money while their lobbies and dining rooms sit empty.

"[We have] two restaurants, two bars and a deli, so we've narrowed that down to just the grill, which is our three-meal-a-day restaurant, and our deli offers side pick-up and to-go,” Brock said. “We've gotten them on DoorDash and Grubhub and sites like that. We were very quick to do that, and those sites were very quick to work with us, as they were trying to be accommodating to new restaurants, as well.”

Restaurant and hotel owners hope the Easter holiday encourages people to give back to those beloved places they would normally support this Sunday.

"We also have employees to support. We have our husband and wife owners and their daughter. I mean, it's a family business,” said Samples. “How do we keep everyone afloat here? The owners care about their employees, so they want to give them opportunities to make money, as well.”

"It's so important that we support our community by doing things like Easter at home, but also that they're here supporting us, especially for us local businesses," said Brock.

So far, the orders are coming in, but they could still use more. Restaurant owners hope this weekend brings enough of a surge in business to keep them open through the pandemic.

Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering