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Pandemic inspires Prairie Village restaurant to focus on to-go, private dining

Scratch restaurant
Posted at 7:13 PM, Sep 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-07 20:13:10-04

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — Restaurants, along with the leisure and hospitality industry overall have faced significant challenges over the last year-and-a-half.

Now, a restaurant in the Kansas City area has an idea that could make it pandemic-proof.

Scratch Gourmet Express and Catering recently opened in Prairie Village. The business focuses on to-go ordering of its menu, which changes weekly, and private dining events.

Owners Tyler and Monica Morrison have been in the food industry for more than a decade and say the pandemic has shown them the importance of adapting to the things going on in the world.

"I think COVID was an opportunity for people to really dig deep and say 'How can I forecast what’s going to come?' 'What do I think the world is going to look like after?" Tyler Morrison said.

The couple realized staffing would be a challenge for a restaurant with full service dine-in. Now, they're able to run their business with just five staff members.

Morrison said the business model allows customers the convenience of scheduling orders to-go.

"We have a little one at home so we know that when it’s getting close to seven and it’s bedtime we need to already have dinner figured out," Morrison said.

The to-go business model is a smart move according to the Greater Kansas City Restaurant Association.

"You should be able to operate in a smaller space so you’ve got a lower cost of injury, less rent, less insurance, less utility costs," Bill Teel, executive director at the Kansas City Restaurant Association said.

Teel said he's been seeing restaurants around the Kansas City area do similar trends as well as changing hours to adapt to labor shortages.

He said adapting comes with the territory in the highly competitive industry.

"The restaurant industry is always changing so we’ll see what works and what doesn’t work and the restaurants of tomorrow may not look quite like they do today," Teel said.