During coronavirus pandemic, popular local restaurants pivot to groceries

A chain of popular local restaurants is trying something different to generate income during the coronavirus pandemic.

Founding Farmers has turned its attention to a grocery store-style business model in addition to offering its usual menu items through deliver and carryout services.

“We are pivoting the business,” said co-owner Dan Simons, who called the pandemic’s effect on Founding Farmers “devastating.”

The chain has locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia as well as Pennsylvania.

“We had over 1,000 people lose their jobs,” said Simons.

Starting next week, Simons hopes to have his new “market and grocery” section fully operational at his restaurant location in Tysons, Virginia.

“We’ll then get it into Potomac (Maryland) and eventually throughout all of our stores,” Simons said. “Over the next several weeks, we hope to be able to really grow our sales and be adding back jobs as we go.”

For now, according to Simons, the Founding Farmers restaurants have lost 95% of their employees and 95% of their revenue.

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Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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