The first guest of the weekly video interview series featured Angelo DiCapua, CEO of seven MJ’s restaurants throughout New Jersey.
ALLENHURST, NJ: Restaurant owners all over the country are at odds over how to continue servicing their customers while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Even everyday take-out operations have been altered to protect the health and safety of their customers, making conducting business as usual virtually impossible. Richard Santore, Vice President of Bielat Santore & Company caught up with Angelo DiCapua, CEO of seven MJ’s restaurants in New Jersey in the first installment of the “Thursday Restaurant Rap” series for an inside look on how restaurateurs are handling the state-wide closures.
With five MJ’s restaurants in Monmouth County, and one each in Ocean and Middlesex counties, DiCapua is determined to continue serving the public any way he can. Adjusting from the typical seven days a week, dine-in services, to alternative take-out and delivery options are just some of the challenges MJ’s has faced, three weeks into the mandated shutdown. “With people not wanting to leave their houses, we thought delivery was a nice option,” said DiCapua. “It’s keeping some people employed and providing a service to our customers who enjoy MJ’s.”
However, even with the doors remaining open, MJ’s struggles with the loss of about 80 percent of normal sales and 250 full and part-time employees. With the help and assistance from the company’s primary lender, Manasquan Bank, and in hope of receiving the federally-backed SBA loans and grants that he has applied for, DiCapua remains optimistic that MJ’s will get through this. “As a company, we’ll do whatever we have to do to keep going,” said DiCapua. We have a lot of resources and people behind us, we’ll do whatever it takes.”
Inspired by Devils River Whisky, the MJs staff has also been showing their appreciation to healthcare workers and first responders by partnering with various businesses to donate food to medical professionals on the frontline of the pandemic. “They were so appreciative. It was a great thing to see,” said DiCapua. MJ’s also vows to match any size monetary donation and deliver it to local hospitals in the area. “Stay positive, we’re going to get through it,” said DiCapua. Hopefully everyone out there stays healthy and we will come back. I’m a firm believer of that.”
To view the full video interview, visit Bielat Santore & Company’s website at www.123bsc.com, Facebook page, and Youtube Channel and stay tuned for this week’s “Thursday Restaurant Rap” interview.