Making it in the Mid-South: catering business aims to recover after COVID-19

WATCH: Making it in the Mid-South: catering business aims to recover after COVID-19

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Catering companies have taken a tremendous hit during COVID-19.

Ernie Mellor is the owner of Moveable Feast Catering.

“The catering industry, I don’t see it bouncing back until September,” Mellor said.

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Mellor and his staff had an order to prepare meals for a birthday party of 40.

Cancellations during this pandemic, reduced bookings and less staff made it tough to get anywhere close to normalcy.

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Even though the order gave the company some hope that business was finally picking up, the bottom line was barely reaching 10 percent.

“We’re off about 90 percent. we’re strictly trying to survive on deliveries,” Mellor said. “we have a little bit of catering going out.”

Very little business meant it was impossible for Mellor to bring back all of his employees.

He qualified for a payment protection program loan but can’t keep the money.

He said a portion of the loan can be forgiven if you rehire 75 percent of your employees within 60 days.

“That’s roughly 17 employees that I would have to hire back,” Mellor said. “We just don’t have the work. We barely have the work for five of us.”

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