The Place 2 Be has become a hot spot in Hartford since the restaurant opened in 2016. With the COVID-19 crisis restricting customer engagement, Owner Gina Luari had to get creative. MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price reached out to Gina to find out how she’s handling “business as unusual.”

On embracing the “new normal,” she notes, “When you’re an entrepreneur and you’re working in your business, you’re focused on making each day successful. It’s hard to take yourself out of that environment to look at the business as a whole and figure out where you can make improvements. This is the time you have that thinking space to really reflect on the business.”

She adds, “We’ve essentially used this time to become a better business. Now, we’re able to do things we couldn’t do while we were operating—including updating our training guides to include health and safety guides and developing ServSafe procedures. Some things that would have taken us the course of a year to finalize, we’ve accomplished within about a month.”

Gina’s most positive takeaway during this crisis? “We’re in a situation we can’t control and how you come out of it is going to define your business,” she says. “This isn’t going to last forever, we are going to reopen, and when we do, I want to be a stronger, more efficient business.

Read the entire interview at the Hartford Chamber of Commerce site.