DFW restaurant chain adapts during pandemic


BoomerJack’s Grill East Dallas location.

Shekinah Toro, Contributing Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to close, and those that remain open have had to adapt to the leaner times. The measures taken at one local restaurant chain, BoomerJack’s Grill and Bar, included reducing staff, reducing capacity and selling masks.
BoomerJack’s, a local sports restaurant chain established in 2001 with 16 locations around DFW, re-opened in July at 50% capacity. Staff was reduced to only four servers and a few cooks.
The restaurants had to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocols, such as mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing inside the building. Tables closed for social distancing are marked with an X, and the restaurant makes hand sanitizer available to customers.
To increase revenue, the restaurants began selling face masks. The masks, sold for $1.50, were included in the final bill of customers who bought them, according to John Bedoya, a server.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, the restaurant had to get rid of a lot of food, such as vegetables and meats, so it was a big waste of money from all the food investment that had been made,” kitchen manager Luis Hernandez said.
Hourly employees, such as servers and bartenders, were unable to work for two months, and the managers with a contract and a fixed salary had their salaries reduced by 75%.
Maintenance workers stopped working and managers had to take over their duties, such as cleaning and painting.
“Even some of us who are managers, after seeing our salary reduced, we had to get other jobs to cover our personal expenses,” Ana Caicedo, a manager at the North Arlington location, which is near Cowboys AT&T Stadium and Rangers Globe Life Field, said. “In my case, I had to make deliveries through applications like DoorDash and Uber Eats.”
“Even though the restaurant is not fully open, sales have been regularized to what they were before the quarantine started,” Caicedo said.
“It has been a complicated adaptation process, but the restaurant has managed to reinvent itself, and the sanitary protocols are part of the service we provide every day, and since the return of football, sales returned to normal,” she said.