Hard Pivot: A Place To Walk To On Closing During COVID-19
Updated: May 25
This interview is one of a multi-part series exploring the difficult decision of DC area restaurants to close their doors during COVID-19. For more on the series, read here.
A Place To Walk To started as a food truck in Prince George's County, Maryland. As demand for their comfort food classics grew, so did the business, which expanded into a brick and mortar location in Hyattsville MD just two months before the COVID-19 crisis began in earnest in the DMV.
In the early stages of the crisis, A Place To Walk To turned to takeout and delivery, opting to remain open to provide income for employees. However, pivoting to a new business model had its own challenges, as A Place To Walk To's owner Matt Samuels makes clear below. Ultimately, after a short period of takeout and delivery, Matt opted to close A Place To Walk To. As Matt highlights, the future for small businesses remains uncertain, though we can all find moments of laughter and levity during this crisis. Check out Matt's interview below.
When A Place To Walk To was open for takeout only during the early stages of this crisis, were you worried at all about public health?
A Place To Walk To initially remained open for takeout and signed up for multiple delivery services as a way to promote their business. However, delivery services posed their own unique challenges.
and change how businesses and customers interact
While it seems that the situation is bleak for small business, and indeed is incredibly difficult, Matt also offered a different perspective on the landscape post-COVID. (I do hope this particular vision comes to pass)
How has closing impacted your staff both emotionally and financially?
Terribly. My team have family, children, wives, etc... Nobody wants to have to hear that they don’t know how their bills will be paid.