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‘We’re trying to do our best’: Restaurants turn to takeout for Mother’s Day meals

Families in the Inland Northwest may not be able to take the moms in their lives out to the Mother’s Day brunch they’re accustomed to, but some local restaurants have partnered with florists and planned special menus to give families a chance to celebrate the holiday at home – and to make up for some of the sales that will inevitably be lost without dine-in service on one of the busiest restaurants days of the year.

Adam Hegsted, who owns Yards Bruncheon in Kendall Yards and Honey Eatery in Coeur d’Alene and is involved with eight other restaurants in the Inland Northwest, said he tried to make it easier for families to order at a time when his business deals with a sharp downturn.

Hegsted said his restaurants have about one quarter of the customers they usually do, and there are only a few employees working at each location.

Like most in the industry, he’s struggled to keep paying the same number of employees he had before and has been forced to let go all but 20 of the 175 employees working across 10 his restaurants.

He said he hopes Mother’s Day weekend, which is normally the busiest in the year, will help him catch up and have the funds for when restaurant dining rooms do reopen to the public.

“Everything helps,” he said.

He’s hopeful the takeout menus the restaurants have developed will make it easier for families to order and find options that feel normal for a holiday.

“We know that a lot of people value that time and it’s a special occasion, so we want to make sure we can offer the same things,” he said. “That way, you can have almost as good quality as you have at a restaurant.”

This weekend will also be the first time Bruncheonette will be doing takeout orders from its space on Broadway Avenue, near the Spokane County Courthouse. Owner Joile Forral said they have been closed since the lockdown started, but beginning Saturday will offer food to go.

Mother’s Day is normally the restaurant’s busiest weekend and customers often wait an hour to be served.

“This is probably the first time ever you won’t have to wait for a table,” she said.

Forral partnered with Those Girls, a floral and event-planning company, to include flower orders with meals.

While reservations for special Mother’s Day orders ended Thursday, Forral said those who missed the special will still be able to order mimosa kits from the restaurant’s normal menu for takeout on Monday.

The Davenport Hotel – normally a hotspot for brunch on Mother’s Day and Easter – will not have takeout this year as its restaurants are closed, said Matt Jensen, corporate director of sales and marketing.

Luna, located at the intersection of Perry Street and 57th Avenue on the South Hill, normally does a large brunch for the holiday – but not this year.

Brenda Shimp, Luna’s manager, said the food the restaurant usually offers as part of its Mother’s Day brunch wouldn’t travel well, so the restaurant decided to do a special takeout dinner instead.

“This is obviously completely different,” she said. “We feel like we can’t give what Luna is about for brunch in the form of takeout.”

Despite going to takeout only, Shimp said the restaurant has maintained support from a lot of long-time customers.

“We have been overwhelmed with the support that our guests have shown over this COVID takeout period,” she said. “They’ve been loyal, they’ve been understanding and (are) so excited for us to reopen.”

For those looking for an overnight stay with a dinner or brunch, the Coeur d’Alene Resort is offering a special Mother’s Day deal and a prime rib dinner for any customer. Michelle Albertson, executive assistant to the president of the resort, said it is also offering special packages for two that include a room along with dinner from Beverly’s restaurant.

On Sunday morning, guests can get brunch, but it will not be its normal buffet. Guests will need to take their food to their rooms.

“Things have changed, and we’re trying to do our best,” she said.

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