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Franco's small staff tries to keep as busy as possible. Diners haven't been able to eat at Franco's since Gov. Mike DeWine's March 15 order limiting restaurants to carry-out and deliver.
“This weekend was actually a pretty decent weekend with carry-out,” Germano said. “A lot of local support. We’re pushing forward. We’re putting every effort into this. I really like the support the community has given back to us. The Dayton community is one that definitely will always stick together.”
Nick German, of Franco’s Ristorante Italiano, in Dayton. Submitted photo
Franco’s received a generous donation from someone Germano knows this week, and instead of using the money for the restaurant, he decided to give back by awarding $25 gift cards to nurses, doctors, health care workers, and/or first responders. He planned to give away the cards every day this week.
Winners must be able to pick up the cards curbside at the restaurant’s location at 824 E. Fifth Street. That’s also how customers are picking up many orders. Franco’s is also delivering meals within a 5-10 mile radius, though Germano may soon stop asking his employees to deliver food.
“I would personally just rather do it myself instead of putting my employees at risk,” he said, “which I am already by being open, but they want to work. I have a thermometer, so we check everyone to make sure no one’s sick.”
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Most Oregon District restaurants remain open, Germano said. He’s taking a wait-and-see approach.
“We may possibly close, too,” he said. “From my understanding, they say it’s going to get worse before it gets better. I don’t want to put anyone at risk, and I kind of want to follow the guidelines and stay home. If we close, then (his employees) don’t have to leave their homes either.”
If the stay-at-home order remains in effect into late April, May or beyond, Franco’s is in a better position than some businesses.
“We’re kind of fortunate because we own our property,” Germano said. “Some of these other people lease their businesses. Not to mention, we’ve been established for 43 years.”