Springfield restaurant says business is on the up after months of struggle

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- It’s been 11 weeks since Gilardi’s Italian Ristorante has been fully open to the public.

Ozarks First talked to the restaurant owners in early April about how they dealt with COVID-19 guidelines that were coming out then. Four months later, Gilardi’s is operating under newer guidelines and a few cosmetic changes.

“We spent our time doing a lot of re-visiting our business plan, our business model. What we did, was that we instituted a lot of safety protocols here at the restaurant,” says Gilardi’s Owner, James Martin.

Here’s what you can expect the next time you dine at Gilardi’s:

  • Must make a reservation 24 hours in advance
  • Temperature checks at the door
  • Employees wear masks and gloves
  • Social distant tables indoor and outdoor
  • Each table has a producer and receiver

Martin says he came up with a new method to serve guests.

“We’ve developed a provider and receiver system, so one person is the provider or producer. If you ask for something, a glass of wine more bread, they will be the one who gives it to you. If you need something taken away from the table, that will be another person,” says Martin.

He says that this style of serving is to prevent cross-contamination between tables. Martin says the feedback from guests has been positive so much so they keep coming back. He even says some people tell him this is the only restaurant they will dine out at.

Martin says Gilardi’s can hold around 200 people, but because of health guidelines, the restaurant is the only operation with a capacity of around 50 people.

“The more that we invest in our safety and sanitation, the more we invest in our trust, the more our community invests in us. And I’m really seeing that with those repeat customers that are coming in every week. That’s exciting to me that says that I’ve made the right decision, and I’m moving forward, and this business is moving forward, and hopefully, our community will too,” says Martin.

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