Mexican restaurants feel heat of pandemic on Cinco de Mayo

Local News

SOUTH OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) – Cinco de Mayo or the fifth of May, has become a popular day for Americans to go out to Mexican restaurants and celebrate. But because of the pandemic, businesses have had to work around a normal tradition.

Maria’s Restaurant in south Ogden was this place was completely empty Tuesday morning. The owners worried business was going to be slow, but come noon, this place was packed.

A line of people waiting to be seated at the door. Phones ringing off the hook. This was not expected, according to restaurant owner Javier Vasquez.

“We were expecting a slow day, definitely half of our personnel or employees is at home at this moment,” said Vasquez.

Javier says usually on Cinco de Mayo, they have around 10 employees on the floor, but today they only have two servers and Javier and Maria.

“Today, we can just have half of the house, we cannot have the full house,” said Vasquez.

Because of the pandemic, there are recommendations businesses are suggested to follow from the health department. This has led these business owners having to make changes.

“Actually last year, it was super busy, we have the live music, but today it’s kind of different, it’s very very sad,” said Maria Vasquez.

And even though they have customers coming in during the pandemic or ordering take out, business owners say they wont be making as much money as they would have last year.

“Usually we have a huge party, like a fiesta, to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Growing up chicano, we know the true significance of what it represents but in the States it’s a celebration of beer and Coronas, no pun intended,” said Lefty Montoya of Wimpy & Fritz.

Wimpy and Fritz, also known as the Ogden Taco Cartel, is only doing take out but they say people began ordering take out platters last night.  

“Business is poppin’ so we’re doing pretty good,” said Montoya.

Lefty Montoya says he’s teaming up with local business owners to celebrate Cinco de Mayo by doing giveaways, You can find that information on their Instagram @Wimpy_and_Fritz.

Both local restaurants will be answering phone calls for to go orders, and Maria’s restaurant will be open for Cinco De Mayo until 10 pm.

LATEST POSTS:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.