CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Mexican restaurants on counting on sales on Cinco de Mayo to mount a comeback.
“It’s our busiest day of the year for our concept. Between that and mothers day, this week is a big one for us," said Sean Latona, Operations Director for Bomba Taco Bar.
For the occasion, Bomba is serving taco boxes and margaritas in mason jars.
“Normally it’s a big party. It’s margaritas flying out of service bars. It’s people engaging, big groups having fun, drinking, eating tacos. Everything you’d come to expect from a holiday like that. This year is a little bit different,” he said.
Today, they’re hoping for more like a parade of take outs, and they’ll use that to build customer loyalty with the new format.
“It’s certainly a little bit unknown, which is slightly scary and a little bit intimidating, but also a lot of excitement that we’ve built,” Latona said.
“I just renovated my restaurant, and built a 22 seat bar and live music venue that was slated to open the week everything was shut down,” said Best Damn Tacos owner, David Kovatch.
Like other taco shops, Cinco de Mayo is a huge draw for them.
“We were really looking forward to a packed house, and making this Cinco De Mayo the biggest party we’ve ever had. Unfortunately, we will all have to celebrate together in spirit this year,” he said.
The Funky Truckeria had to abandon their plans for a taco fest with their three food trucks which have remained parked throughout this pandemic.
“Honestly, we thought everything we’d worked for was going to disappear. It was quite challenging and frightening. Our numbers dropped drastically,” said owner, Steve Sabo.
They’re surviving on their brick and mortar in Norton alone.
“We’re trying to use social media to our benefit and keep afloat,” he said.
For them, Cinco de Mayo is their own PPP loan.
“A day like Cinco de Mayo can pay our employees for a whole month. We’re not going to see that today. But if we could do half of that I’ll be very happy,” Sabo said.
At Johnny Mango in Ohio City, they’re sticking to what they do best on Cinco de Mayo, margaritas.
“This will be the first time in 23 years I don’t know how a Cinco de Mayo is going to go, no joke,” said Mandy Kiczek.
Kiczek says they’re pushing through and sharing the customers’ generous tips to help pay their employees.
“We’re just trying to survive. I really don’t know what today is going to bring, but I just know we are going to sell a whole lot of margaritas. We will be here in the end and we are so excited about it,” she said.