Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Crowds of customers vs. slim staff, Restaurant owners prepare for Cinco de Mayo celebration

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BATON ROUGE – Wednesday is Cinco de Mayo and restaurant owners are expecting big crowds since the mask mandate has been lifted, and more people are vaccinated.

“It’s about a 15 to 18 hour day when it’s all said and done,” said Jim Urdiales who owns Mestizo Mexican Cuisine.

Urdiales says the celebration is always the biggest day at the restaurant, but he’s battling a new obstacle this year that isn’t COVID-19: crowds of customers vs. a slim staff.

“I'm personally, as the owner, working 7 days a week, doubles just keeping the restaurant moving in the right direction,” said Urdiales. “It’s exhausting I’m already planning to close some days this summer just to give my body a break.”

Urdiales asked some of his friends to come in on Wednesday to handle the demand.

“Most of my older customers are vaccinated they’re coming out in droves, they’re excited to see their friends again,” said Urdiales.

The owner of Zippy’s is also anticipating a grueling work day.

“It’s all hands on deck tomorrow, everyone knows you have to work Cinco,” said Jim Hendrick.

Hendrick set up an outdoor tent last Cinco de Mayo to host more customers and it’s stayed ever since. He expects the room to be well used from lunch until late into the night Wednesday.

“People are getting to do things for the first time all over again, because a lot of people didn’t come out last year and they haven’t been out in a lot this year,” says Hendrick.


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