We talked to: Local Burger

We talked to Local Burger

We recently had a lovely conversation with Jeff Igneri, owner of Local Burger. Find out what Jeff had to say about how things are going in Pandemic Times and what's coming up!

How are things going in these uncertain times?

Things are okay--we are doing well overall. We are lucky, as we are still open, and haven’t even closed one day since the pandemic began. We asked our staff if they wanted to work, and they all wanted to continue. We have a truly amazing team, and most of them have been with us for 8 to 10 years.  We are hanging in there--we received the first PPP loan, but so far, have not received the second. That said, we remain hopeful that we will receive that at some point.  We have the amazing support of the community, and feel so thankful for that. Everyone has really come together in this crazy time, whether it’s to feed frontline workers, feed our community on a regular basis, or offer support in the form of collaborations.

Do you think people generally feel safe coming into your space?

I do think that people feel safe and comfortable coming into the restaurant. We adhere strictly to rules of wearing masks and gloves at all times, unless we are on a break. We clean and sanitize constantly, and have hand sanitizer available to patrons throughout the restaurant. We are currently only permitting 15 to 20 people for in-house dining, and we space the tables 9 feet apart. We are mostly doing takeout and curbside, though, and we are very excited to be able to offer online ordering! People love curbside delivery so much that we will probably continue to do that well into the future. Our food is good for traveling--it’s easy to take to-go. It’s not fine dining, so it’s ideal for people who want to safely meet outdoors in these times and enjoy a good meal.

Are your customers adhering to the mask-wearing rule, or have you encountered some resistance?

At first, masks were an issue here and there, particularly at the ‘Burgy spot. I think because it’s all outdoor seating, and some people were just not thinking about keeping masks on when they were not eating/up and about. So there were some issues there initially, but now it is just par for the course and everyone is used to doing it. It makes sense that it took some time for people to adjust--there was a learning curve. But now it is just the norm, and people are much more aware and respectful.

What positive things have you learned during this crazy time, and do you have any goals for 2021?

Online ordering has been a huge upgrade and has made things better for everyone! And of course, our staff is incredible.  Even though the rules are constantly changing, they follow along and adapt without complaints. They are just so amazing and able to go with the flow and pivot as needed. It’s truly a dedicated team, and they work hard to do the right thing on a daily basis. And of course, we are so grateful for this wonderful community and how everyone has come together to support each other and keep moving forward.

Is there any other information you’d like to share about your business?

So my wife has been baking up a storm after recently taking a Zoom baking class with world-renowned baker Christina Tosi of Milk Bar fame.  We are taste-testing both at home and at the restaurant, and looking forward to trying more new creations.  It’s a wonderful outlet for her, and awesome to be able to offer more new and creative desserts to our patrons on a regular basis! We did try the grab-and-go meals, but they were not a huge hit, so now we’re refocusing on offering more weekly specials and of course, the amazing desserts my wife is creating. Stay tuned on social media for updates!


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