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Valley restaurateur Mark Tarbell: Why 2020 was one of our best years

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Posted at 10:03 AM, Jun 11, 2021

When seasoned chef and restaurateur Mark Tarbell thinks back on 2020 – the year the Covid-19 pandemic put an unfathomable strain on the restaurant industry – he’ll be able to reflect on more of the good times, rather than bad.

”It was one of our best years in so many ways,” Tarbell told the Business Journal, “And I’m not just saying that to be cute. It just really was.”

Financially speaking, his Phoenix restaurant Tarbell’s didn’t have its best year, but the celebrity chef said that the way his team faced the adversity of 2020 and how they were able to pivot, he thinks it put his business in a position to succeed further in the future.

The biggest thing Tarbell started doing in 2020 that he plans on continuing is delivery. Because he was in the fine-dining world, Tarbell never did delivery before the pandemic. He didn’t think he could do it to the standards he keeps at his restaurants. But as late March and April of 2020 rolled around, he didn’t have any other choice.

“I went out and rented three or four Hertz rental cars to do delivery,” Tarbell said. “My decision immediately was to maintain my team because I didn’t want to break up the team. So I decided to have them all start to be drivers or packaging or phone operators, taking calls for to-go.”

Read more of this story from the Business Journal.