OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — If you’ve never been to Inner Rail Food Hall, it’s about more than food. It’s a unique dining experience with several different types of food from various restaurants being offered in one space.
When the pandemic hit, all ten vendors at Inner Rail Food Hall closed up shop. But through the efforts of the general manager hitting the pavement, they have vendors slowly opening back and are now at full capacity.
“This was a family effort; my wife and daughter and I would put on our masks and gloves in the morning, and we would print out flyers and we would canvas the neighborhoods,” said general manager Matt Taylor. “We would place them on windshield wipers, door handles, communal areas of apartment buildings near us and just try and get the word out.”
Inner Rail has nine food vendors and one huge bar. They offer everything from pizza and burgers to sushi and bubble tea.
“When we first decided to to curbside, Nolis’s Pizzeria, Maharani Indian Kitchen and B Squared Burger were the first three to step in and say, ‘We’re going to give this thing a try,'” said Taylor.
Inner Rail’s business model was built around communal and group dining, so they’re had to change up their entire business model very quickly.
“It’s really been a process of re-evaluating everyday almost…we learn something new everyday,” said Akhtar Nawab, CEO of Hospitality HQ. “So instead, we’ve taken the tables that seat 16-20 people away.”
“We’ve made it even less than 50% capacity,” Taylor said. “We have such a large, outdoor seating area. We were able to take some of our large tables and move them all the way from north to south and actually have about 23 tables for exterior dining.”
Because standing in line to order food puts you in prolonged contact with other people, they’ve made options for that as well.
“We put information out to educate our diners,” Taylor said. “They can order to dine-in from their smart phone, from and app and the website, and you get a text message when your food is ready. So in stead of standing in line, you just walk up, grab your food and sit back down and enjoy it.”
It’s been a slow process, but customers are finally feeling comfortable eating out again.
“I hesitated a little bit about going out to dine in, but I was pretty confident a place like this would take enough precautionary steps that I felt safe coming here,” said customer Ethan O’Hair.
Outdoor seating will open up this weekend, and they welcome everyone to stop by for delicious food, a cool drink and a warm seat.
They have 7,000 square feet of space. Along with burgers and pizza, you can get sushi, Indian food, Vietnamese, noodles, crepes, coffee, bubble tea, ice cream and shakes.