Video by Patty Stocker
With Massachusetts’ restaurants banned from allowing diners to eat inside their establishments since the governor’s order on March 15th, we thought we’d check in with local owners to see how they’re doing with special Zoom editions of Back of the House.
Harry Cheema, franchise owner of Mr. Mac’s in Westford, Tyngsboro, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, grew up working in his family’s Indian restaurant. After owning his own restaurant in college, Harry stepped away from the food industry for about a decade before investing in the Mr. Mac’s franchise in 2015. Mr. Mac’s, at 175 Groton Road in Westford, opened in December 2019.
On April 28, Cheema took WestfordCAT’s Patty Stocker virtually to the back of the house to make their Buffalo Blazing Chicken, just one of the 19 macaroni and cheese dishes the restaurant has to offer. Cheema said because of the community’s strong support, Mr. Mac’s has been able to stay in business.
“Fortunately with the support (from the town), I haven’t had to lay off any employees or furlough anyone,” said Cheema. “So in the Westford location we have 28 employees and we’re still rocking. I have to thank the community for that support.”
Cheema demonstrated how he is keeping both his staff and the public safe during the Coronavirus pandemic through the use of N-95 masks, gloves, frequent hand washing, sanitizing, and social distancing.
“I made a promise to my team members that, one, none of them would be losing their jobs,” Cheema said. “And, two, I would do everything in my power to make sure they’re safe.”
During the shutdown, Mr. Mac’s is offering online, telephone, and walk-in ordering; delivery, and curbside pick up.