JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult on local businesses, families and charities and now that restaurants are back open for business, one local restaurant is making sure that families in need to get a piece of the pie.
Mellow Mushroom is matching donations of pizza for every pie that it sells Thursday at all five of its First Coast locations, with plans to donate pizza to local Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Michael Phillips, chief operating officer of Legacy Restaurant Group, said the Ronald McDonald House had to shut down due to the pandemic, but once they reopen in June, the restaurant group plans to deliver fresh, hot pizza pies to families in need.
"Now more than ever, they’re in need of resources and help," Phillips said. "They’re not back functioning until June, so we’re going to wait and support them when they’re back fully functional. But when they are, we’re going to take a couple of days and go and feed a lot of families.”
Phillips says the restaurant group has had to make adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic but they were fortunate to get government funding through PPP loans. Now, they're committed to giving back to the community.
“So it’s been an interesting couple of months, to say the least," Phillips said. "We’ve been fortunate to have very strong ownership and leadership ... We’re operating at 50% capacity right now, so that’s about 50% revenue as well. So it’s hard to flip a switch and turn everything back on and get to full functionality, but we’re doing the best we can to put paychecks in people’s pockets and provide an opportunity to the community for people to get out and have a restaurant experience."
Phillips says the restaurant group is very strict with its sanitation processes, with all employees wearing gloves and masks and tables spaced out to federal and state guidelines.