WSB-TV reports that Paris Retana co-owns Lake Burrito in Cumming, Georgia, with his sisters Alicia and Mildred. They were worried that the declining sales during quarantine were going to force them to shut down for good after 10 years of being in business. Paris tells 11 Alive "It's just been me and my two twin sisters working on little to no income for the past month". But their competitor, Steve Hartsock, who owns Socks Love Barbecue restaurant, heard about it, he put out a call for help on social media.
Hartsock asked the community to come support Lake Burrito and they started showing up hungry and ready to eat! Paris says "There was hundreds of customers lined up out of the door into the parking lot. It was just insane. We had people waiting for an hour for food and they were so patient and supportive. We sold out of everything before 2 o'clock".
Hartsock has also promised to donate a full day’s profits from Socks Love Barbecue to Lake Burrito.
"We are just overblown and overwhelmed and so thankful,” Retana says. “It's just amazing.”
Hartsock and his Socks’ Love Barbecue restaurant has also teamed with nonprofits like The Place of Forsyth County and Meals by Grace to provide food and fund raise online to help feed low income kids around Atlanta. Hartsock tells Forsyth News “I feel like as long as we’re able to stay in business, as long as I’m able to keep a large portion of our staff employed and as long as our customers are coming here and spending money and we’re able to pay our bills, I feel like we have a duty to give back to the community because that’s what they’re doing for us right now.
Is it that they're making more money now than ever before? “Sales are down, for sure,” Hartsock said. “Our catering is pretty much non-existent. The first week that this got real serious, the stuff that we had on the books for at least two months ... immediately went away because most of the catering we do is corporate, large events, and obviously we can’t do those right now, so out goes the catering, which hurts because it’s a good thing for a restaurant to have catering from a financial standpoint, and when that goes away, we’re relying pretty much 100 percent on the restaurant, which are small margins.”