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QR codes, drive-thrus and smaller dining spaces are here to stay for restaurants

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - The idea of Pizza Champ came about as a necessity during the midst of the pandemic. The owners of Elmwood in Maplewood started making pizzas as a way to survive when they were forced to close their doors in 2020.

“We made this pivot because it felt like we had to do the exact opposite of whatever we were doing because it felt like nothing we were doing was working,” said Adam Altnether, chef and owner of Pizza Champ.

Fast forward and Pizza Champ is its own stand-alone business. But it’s not your typical pizza joint. There’s no inside dining. There’s a large patio, a walk-up window with a QR code and a drive-thru window. All changes that came about because of the pandemic.

“I honestly think it makes too much sense now,” said Altnether.

They’ve partnered with another Maplewood business, Shared by Side Project.

“We have our beer, they have their food and we just bring the best on world under one roof, patio roof,” said Cory King, owner of Shared by Side Project.

The smaller space also helps with another major issue facing restaurants: the labor shortage.

Last week the U.S. Senate failed to pass the Small Business Covid Relief Act which would have replenished the Restaurant Revitalization Fund and given needed funds to help restaurants in the area and across the country.

Now, these local businesses are relying on their customers and these new business models to survive and thrive in a post-pandemic world.