Newark businesses prepare for student-less summer
On any given day during the school year, Main Street is flooded with students squeezing in a morning coffee, grabbing a quick bite or having a delicious meal. But what students do not realize is the impact they leave behind when they return home for the summer months.
Newark Deli and Bagels (more commonly known to students as NDB) owner, Eduardo Cardenas, is no stranger to this change once summer break rolls around. Cardenas has been working at NDB for sixteen years at his family-run business.
“It’s about 30 percent less customers,” said Cardenas. “The student population is reduced to about 50 percent.”
This change in the number of students leaves a huge impact on the beloved family-run businesses.
Luckily for Cardenas, the change does not impact his business too much with the addition of different faces coming into his shop.
“We have so many customers that are waiting for students to move out,” Cardenas said. “Most of them are adults who don’t like to share the same environment as students because the students take over.”
The summer months completely change the clientele that NDB receives. Cardenas also stated that these adults tend to be higher paying customers who will pick different items from the menu.
“Customers order the specials and the ticket has more value than those of the students,” Cardenas said. “People come for lunch and spend more money and it’s a little bit more demanding.”
Margherita’s has also been a staple restaurant to university students for many years. Owner, Rico Dellamonica said that he has worked there since 1991, only eleven years after the store opened up in 1980. Margherita’s has seen similar patterns to those of NDB during the summer months.
“We do have a lot of families that come in during the summer,” said Dellamonica. “The majority of the reason why is that during the school year it’s busy and the parking is terrible to find.”
The pizza joint has made some changes based on the decrease in students begging for slices until the early hours of the morning. Dellamonica stated they are open all week year round but close earlier on the weekends during the summer, closing around 10 p.m. instead of the usual 3 a.m.
He has also made changes to the amount of staff he employs during the summer. Dellamonica added that his full-time employees are more likely to take an extra day off in the summer, versus working five days a week during the school year.
Dellamonica said they also increase their advertising strategies in seasonally appropriate ways.
“We do advertise in the community pool area and have more specials on the websites,” he said.
A popular spot on campus for health conscious students to get their fix is Mainstream Nutrition. Owner Joey Mullin said that he started working at this family-run business, which he owns with his sister, about three years ago.
His experience with Main Street’s summer break is similar to the other owners’.
“It’s pretty much like a ghost town all of Newark,” he said. As for numbers, Mullin said he and his sister only make about 10 percent of their annual sales during the first two months of summer.
The business is open the same number of hours as the school year, but during the summer workers take shifts as opposed to working full-time.
Grotto’s, a bar and popular pizza place on campus, is also affected by the lack of people around Main Street in the summer months. Manager Michael Keough agreed with the previous owners saying that his restaurant sees more activity during the school year.
Instead of the usual bar scene, Grotto’s has more of a family-oriented atmosphere in the hot summer months.
“During the summer it’s more families than during the school year,” Keough said.