SOUTH PORTLAND — Restaurant workers have had their own set of unique challenges during the pandemic, said Erik Frederick, chief executive officer of UNO Pizzeria & Grill.

“Our name quite literally translates to ‘One,'” he said. “We are one amongst restaurants, and we are all in this together with our fellow restaurant workers. Restaurant workers have worked effortlessly and more than ever before this past year.”

This is the reason that the company has decided to reward restaurant workers through the month of January with a $5 pizza offer, said company officials in a written statement.

Restaurant workers, including those who have been furloughed, can visit UNO Pizzeria & Grill in South Portland on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Jan. 27 for a $5 pizza. Courtesy photo

“We want to honor, celebrate, and thank them for this work the best way we know how – with pizza,” Frederick said. “If we’re able to lift spirits and be a tasty little reminder that we can and will all get through this, we’ll be thrilled.”

The pandemic has impacted every restaurant, including UNO’s, he said. This has affected how workers do their jobs.

“We’ve had to cut back on menu offerings, hours, and staffing, so many of our in-restaurant workers have had to add a number of responsibilities to their daily tasks,” he said. “No longer are you solely a hostess – you’re a hostess, you’re running takeout orders outside to guests, you’re helping to sanitize where appropriate, and perhaps you’ve even gained some back-of-house experience. We’ve added curbside pickup and delivery as options for guests to enjoy their UNO favorites in many of our locations, so our workers have had to quickly learn how to perfect these programs.”

“With a heavy heart,” he said, “we’ve had to furlough a number of workers as well – it’s incredibly difficult to ask so many workers to sit tight while we hope we’re able to get them back in-restaurant soon. We’ve survived a lot, and we remain committed to giving all guests an enjoyable and safe UNO’s experience.”

When eating at UNO’s, masks are required, except while eating or drinking, the release said. The deal is not meant for entire parties, but rather for individual workers.

According to the statement, “In addition to social distancing, UNO’s has also incorporated single-use menus and sanitation of all touchpoints & tables/booths after each seating. All team members are required to wear face coverings. Wellness protocols and temperature checks for all team members before shifts have also been initiated.”

Workers will be asked to share which restaurant they work at when taking advantage of the deal, Frederick said.

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