Social media and pivoting operations carried Patio West Deli through the toughest parts of the pandemic

When almost one-third of small businesses stopped operating during the early stages of the pandemic, Rialto’s beloved Patio West Deli stood the test of time.

The sandwich restaurant, run by owners Gloria Miller and Claudia Szypusz, has been serving the city for over 40 years.

Amidst the chaotic early stages of the pandemic when many small businesses were forced to close their doors, Patio West Deli beefed up its social media presence and began offering curbside pickup, a service not typically offered by a mom-and-pop restaurant.

“Months before the pandemic began we had implemented phone orders and pick-ups, so that helped us out tremendously. But, one of the biggest hurdles we faced was communicating to the public that we were still open,” said Miller.

It was during this time, in March 2020, that many small businesses began to understand the power of social media, and Patio West Deli was no different.

“We had already been on Facebook since 2010 and had just joined Instagram in 2019, so we really bumped up our content and began posting a lot more frequently. We even asked a lot of people within our networks to help re-share our posts and they did, which was a huge help,” continued Miller.

Aside from social media, Miller said that the City of Rialto, Rialto Police and Fire departments played a pivotal role in spreading the word of their continued operations.

“We’re here today because of the loyalty of our customers and so grateful to Rialto’s police chief, the City and Rialto Fire Department for letting their colleagues know that we were still open during such a volatile time,” Miller said.

While she says past customers are still trickling in, having had no idea that the restaurant was still open, both Gloria and Claudia are happy with their now stabilized business and happy customers.

Many of those customers continue coming back for the PWD Sandwich, a fan favorite to those in Rialto and beyond.

The turkey – pastrami sandwich is another hit at the restaurant, featuring Indian grain bread, tomato, bean sprouts, and avocado.

“The PWD Sandwich comes with egg salad, crispy pastrami, cheese, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, and a lot of people add avocado to it too. Our Italian Grinder is a hit as well, it comes with four types of Italian meats, mozzarella, provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, pepperoncinis, oil, vinegar and seasoning,” concluded Miller.

Patio West Deli is located at 108 S. Riverside Avenue, Rialto.

It’s open Monday – Friday, 10 am to 4 pm and Saturdays 11 am to 3 pm.

For more information, call 909-820-0676.


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