Gino’s Pizzeria in Seaford devised a plan on Wednesday, March 18 to give families a way to eat within the safety of their home – and have fun.
They call it the “take-home pizza kit.” Each kit comes with enough dough for an 18-inch pizza pie, pepperoni, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. After tax, it will cost about $13. The idea came as a reaction to the Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order that no restaurant could have more than 50 patrons and staff, starting on March 17. With a large influx of takeout orders, the restaurant’s ownership partners, Nick DiNardo and Joseph Donlan, wanted to give families a way to pass the time with loved ones.
“We knew that people were going to be cooped up in their houses,” Donlan said. “We wanted to give them a way to eat but also have fun.”
On Friday, March 20, Donlan and his staff were still slinging pizzas left and right for takeout. Many Seaford residents called in orders, while others came in to pick theirs up. Some even took a slice to go.
“Up until today, we’ve done about 75 pizza kits,” Donlan said on Friday, while prepping three more kits.
Donlan continued to instruct families to set their ovens to about 450 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the pie for 10-12 minutes, although he noted ovens can vary in time. “Keep an eye on it,” he said.
He also mentioned that Gino’s will be doing a contest on social media. The pizza parlor will award two $50 gift cards to the best two tagged Instagram videos of prepping a pie from the takehome kits.
Donlan and DiNardo liked the idea because it creates a communal feel within the neighborhood. Donlan said that, in times such as these, they have to improvise a bit.
Due to the Cuomo’s orders, Gino’s has closed its dining room for the foreseeable future. As a result, delivery orders have increased drastically. Because of this, the two owners had to make some changes. Donlan said they have called in another delivery person, and have had to restructure all employee hours.
“We took everyone’s hours and shifted them, so people who were working 30 hours maybe working 20 now, and some who were working 20 are working 10, and so on,” Donlan said. “There have been no layoffs so far; we’ve been taking the hit together.”
As if to underscore the popularity of the kits, the phone rang while he was speaking. A few seconds later, he was off the phone and motioned to one of his workers to grab some more boxes and ingredients. He had more pizza kits to prepare.