by Kayla Fuentes
After being forced to shut their doors in March this year, the life of small businesses was in the hands of owners themselves to figure out how to stay afloat while everything around them seemingly sank. Such a sudden change was bound to cause hardship in the lives of these business owners, but, with no other option thousands around the globe, and locally, had to figure out how they would make it past the dark days.
New York City was hit hard by the pandemic, to say the least, and virtually no one was prepared. Andrew Walcott, owner of Fusion East Restaurant, had to put on his thinking cap and efficiently devise a plan to help the community and his restaurant through such challenging days.
“During the pandemic,” he added, “we have pivoted to focus more on our food truck operations, take out, and catering”. As a change of business focus there was no room for failure. It was all about survival. One of the primary sources that kept the restaurant alive was the food truck strategically placed on the busy retail strip of Pitkin Avenue, located in Brownsville. The food truck allowed for safe service between customers and workers, as they lined up 6 feet away from where their food cooked.
Additionally, take out has boosted and completely shifted the restaurant’s main clientele from indoor dining to calls, take-outs, and the food truck. “we’ve dedicated more marketing and staff resources to build up a business line”, Walcott added.
With the stress of healthcare workers at an all time high, Fusion East stepped in, and showed off their new food truck by providing thousands of catered meals to first responders, police officers, and hospital workers. And with the help of radio, social media, content marketing and television, Walcott has shed even more light to his business and attributes this innovative marketing as the key to surviving the pandemic.
It’s safe to say that in the midst of it all, these were changes the restaurant wouldn’t have had to endure if the pandemic did not take its course this spring, and the rapid lockdown restrictions were certainly tough to keep up with. But, with the goal being to always be there for the community of East New York, Walcott stays determined to work hard through just about anything.
Walcott also mentioned that his restaurant will be part of the One Brooklyn Jazz Festival in December, which will include live jazz trios for indoor dining customers to enjoy, and the performances will be livestreamed to reach all of his customers.
Stay tuned for updates on the live jazz performances.