– Despite all odds, family-owned barbecue restaurant Old SLO BBQ Co. celebrates their first anniversary of opening a second location in the Marigold Shopping Center.
After experiencing great success with their first restaurant located in downtown San Luis Obispo, Old SLO BBQ Co. owners Matt and Danae Pearce decided to open up a second location in town off of Broad Street in October of 2019. What they did not expect was the overwhelming number of challenges the next year would bring.
Not six months after their official opening, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly swept through communities all across the Nation, devastating small businesses and closing locally-owned restaurants forever. Old SLO BBQ Co., among many other businesses, was forced to quickly adapt to keep both locations open. “This year has been our hardest year of business yet,” said Pearce. “But by honing in on the customer takeout experience, building our online presence, and relying on the support of our fellow community members, we have survived what is sure to be our hardest year of business yet.”
Part of the challenge for many local restaurants were the changing regulations around take out and safety. From shutting down dining rooms to reopening dining rooms at half-capacity, and reclosing dining rooms and transitioning all seating outside, there has been plenty of back-and-forth. In addition to those adjustments, California is facing one of its worst fire seasons in years, adding poor air quality to the list of obstacles that must be overcome.
As the pandemic continues to smother local economies and stamp out family-owned businesses one by one, restaurants like Old SLO BBQ Co. will persist in their fight to maintain profitable business and offer their customers exceptional service, while adhering to challenging state and county regulations.