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Charlotte couple creates success in restaurant business amid pandemic

The couple reworked their business plan when Covid-19 hit and were so successful, they were able to open a second location this month.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte couple saw the profits at their restaurant wiped out at the start of the pandemic so they had to rethink everything about the way they were operating.

"It was pretty crazy," Tacos 4 Life owner Chip Ladigo said about business in March when the pandemic hit the restaurant business hard. 

The popular fast casual restaurant is known as much for their tacos as for their mission to give back. 

“We probably lost 80 percent of our sales right out of gate nobody knew what to do everybody was scared,” said Ladigo.

Ladigo and his team completely reworked the way they worked. “We redesigned how we run kitchen where food comes out how were gonna stage it. We have 18 curbside parking spots."

It worked. 

“Now we saw sales come back to the point now where were prospering over last years sales,” he said. 

The new plan and a PPP loan meant they could move ahead with opening this new location in the Arboretum in South Charlotte.

RELATED: PPP loans overwhelmingly went to white men, just 3% went to Black-owned businesses

“We were excited that we were able to figure out what we needed to do and it worked – didn’t work right out of the gate.”

But it worked well enough that even during the hardest months they were able to do what they love most.

“Our biggest thing is our mission, every time we sell a taco we donate to childhood hunger and it doesn’t matter if dine in or to go so we owed it to our mission to make sure we retooled that and make sure it was exactly what the guests were asking for,” said Lagido. 

He and his wife are now hoping that the new Arboretum location will help to donate more than 1000 meals a day for starving children.

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