Mainstreet Daily News, in a collaboration with Noel Leroux, founder of Gainesville Downtown, is spotlighting downtown businesses to learn how each one is coping with the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation.
Dick Mondell’s Burgers & Fries was as ready as any restaurant could be for the coronavirus outbreak.
When most eateries had to close dining rooms and convert to carryout only, the burger joint at 412 SW 4th Ave. was already there.
“We’re lucky we’re already set up for drive-thru and carryout to begin with,” said Chris Leckerling, co-owner of Dick Mondell’s along with Connor Castelli. “There wasn’t much adaptation.”
The restaurant, however, has taken additional measures to make sure all surfaces are sanitized and that workers adhere to CDC guidelines.
“We’re definitely looking out for the safety of staff and customers,” Leckerling said.
Customers are now required to consume their fast food off the premises, a move that Leckerling calls “a rational precaution given the situation.” Also, Dick Mondell’s is closing a bit earlier. Dining hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. With most UF students now at home, late-night hours are no longer practical. Customers can still order at the walk-up window, but most customers are staying in their vehicles and using the drive-through lane. Another option is calling orders ahead at 352.225.3214.
Leckerling said the restaurant has not had to lay off any workers.
“Not having to let anyone go has been wonderful,” he said. “We’re incredibly thankful for the support the community has continued to show us.”
To show its support for the community, Dick Mondell’s gives all first responders in uniform a 10-percent discount. “We’re making a real effort to support other businesses so there’s a downtown to come back to,” Leckerling said.
For further info, visit dickmondells.com.
Noel Leroux is the publisher of gainesvilledowntown.com, a website dedicated to covering all things downtown. His mission is to inform, entertain and engage readers with compelling articles about arts, entertainment, and the foodie scene in Gainesville.