NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An iconic Nashville restaurant known for breakfast will be opening their doors for dinner for the first time in their sixty-year history.
Pancake Pantry will now be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. Normal business hours will only be Monday-Wednesday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. With capacity restrictions and an uncertain future, the owner says he is doing everything he can to avoid a shutdown and mass layoffs.
“It’s going to be slow and it’s going to be rough, but we have to remind people that we are here,” said Crosby Keltner.
It’s another way the business has had to get creative to make up for lost revenue in 2020.
For three months, each customer was charged a $1 COVID-19 service fee to get through the initial restrictions on capacity and cover the costs of products for carryout orders. Their kitchen space has also expanded to add more stove tops dedicated for takeout.
The number of locals and tourists coming in has dropped over the last several weeks, a situation all too familiar for many Nashville restaurants.
You’ll still be able to order from the traditional breakfast and lunch menu, but dinner items like country fried pork chops, steaks and meatloaf will be added.
“It’s definitely a big change for the staff because a lot of employees get here at 5:30 in the morning, so by the afternoon, they don’t have the energy to last all night,” Keltner said. “We’ve had to be very creative with the shifts and scheduling to make sure we are not burning out.”
More staff will have to be hired, but it’s still too early to tell if the change will be permanent.
“I’ve been asked several times by the employees if this is going to be long-term and I can’t answer that right now,” Keltner said. “Right now, I just want to keep the doors open and try to bring in additional revenue.”
Pancake Pantry temporarily stopped allowing orders through delivery apps like DoorDash and Grubhub because they charge a service fee. Cities like Seattle and San Francisco put a limit on these types of fees to help restaurants recover. Keltner is hoping leaders in Nashville consider doing the same.
Specials will be offered occasionally during the new hours. This weekend, healthcare workers can enjoy 50-percent off of their meal after 4 p.m.