Mark and Nick Petros have been serving food to Calgary locals at Nick’s Steakhouse for 42 years. The restaurant has been family-owned since the beginning, with Nick being the first owner in 1979 and his son Mark taking over officially in 2000. Nick’s Steakhouse is the only place that Mark has ever worked, and even his kids work there today.
When the pandemic first began, the restaurant’s established nature made a big difference in mitigating the shift from predominantly dine-in to takeout and delivery only. They’ve been doing takeout and delivery for 41 years, so when they were forced to close their doors they knew how to navigate that style. They have their own delivery drivers instead of resorting to popular foodservice apps, and their drivers keep 100% of the small delivery fee.
Although they have their takeout and delivery systems down to a science, Mark still looks forward to the day when it’s safe to fill their restaurant to its full capacity. Nick’s Steakhouse can seat up to 275 people, so only allowing 90 people in each night for dine-in is meagre in comparison.
“Fortunately people are really enjoying dine-in right now because they get their own private dining tables. There’s hesitation for people to dine-in right now, but for those that do come in, it’s a nice atmosphere.” Mark explains. “As a restaurant, we’re following all health guidelines and doing everything possible to make sure our customers feel safe.”
Mark, alongside many local restaurant owners in Calgary, has a mission to feed as many people as possible. In this way, he sees restaurants as a form of essential service. For those that don’t have the means to cook for themselves, those hesitant to leave their house to go to the grocery store for safety reasons, or those forced to quarantine, takeout and delivery services are critical. Forced restaurant closures meant that everyone had to go grocery shopping, which didn’t feel like a safe environment for many Canadians in early stages.
Nick’s Steakhouse has established many community ties over the years and has many loyal customers. They’re so grateful for the support that they’ve received through this pandemic from regulars and the Calgary community.
“I’m very optimistic that one-day things will get back to normal. Takeout will definitely be popular for a while, but restaurants will get back to normal one day.” Predicts Mark. “People want that dining out experience.”
For more information on Nick’s Steakhouse, please visit https://nickssteakandpizza.com/