Updated: April 16, 2020 10:30 PM
Created: April 16, 2020 07:35 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Taco Cabana helped KOB 4 Pay it 4ward to first responders.
Like so many businesses across the state, the Taco Cabana restaurant on Central near Eubank in Albuquerque has taken a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's been a struggle," said co-owner Ed Rodriguez. "But we need to comply with what the governor is saying, so we're trying to survive."
Rodriguez has co-owned six Taco Cabanas across the metro for the past 25 years.
He said he's had to lay off about 30% of his employees since the crisis started. But he's managing to stay in busines-- even though sales are down about 40%-50%.
"It's been kind of busy and then not busy. But the drive-thru has really helped us out a lot, or drive-thru business," Rodriguez said. "Our home deliveries have really helped us a lot. They've picked up about 20%. And then we also have the take-out."
Rebeca Badillo, the restaurant's general manager, says they're taking every precaution in the kitchen to keep customers and employees safe.
"We are washing our hands constantly," she said. "We have a timer that goes off 20 minutes, so all the employees go and wash hands, change gloves."
KOB 4 ordered 25 meals from KOB 4 to Pay it 4ward.
The local delivery service, Selflane, packed them up, drove them across town and delivered them to Albuquerque Fire Rescue firefighters and paramedics.
"We're extremely grateful for channel 4 and Taco Cabana for providing meals for our firefighters here at station 2, and a lot of these meals will help go feed other firefighters," said Lt. Tom Ruiz.
Ruiz said they plan to keep Paying it 4ward by donating to a local food bank.
"We, in turn, want to be able to pay that forward the people that are less fortunate, whether that's the homeless folks, the seniors in our community, there are lots of people in our community. So what we're going to do is Pay it 4ward to them," he said.
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