HELENA — On Fuller Avenue in Helena, Lattes and Sundaes was a staple for coffee drinkers and ice cream lovers. Unfortunately for the establishment's owner, Kevin Devine, the food and beverage industry was one of the ones hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"With our 2020 year, it was important for us to move forward with the industry and go with the changes a little bit," said Devine.
Devine made the decision to close Lattes and Sundaes as 2020 came to a close, so another one of Devine's businesses could take the space.
Devine decided to bring his beloved food truck 'Cheddars' off the street and into a brick-and-mortar location so the business could have betters hours of operation.
"Cheddar's seems to be very popular on the streets. So, we thought we would bring it into a brick and mortar situation," said Devine. "So far, so good. Been very successful. Very happy."
In Devine's eyes, Cheddars was more suited to adapt to the current landscape the restaurant industry is navigating, such as customers carrying-out food themselves or ordering delivery through apps like DoorDash and Uber Eats. Devine said the carry-out and delivery orders approximately outweigh the dine-in orders, two-to-one, but regardless of how people are ordering, Devine just wants them to have a good experience.
"Most of our orders have shifted to carry-out type format. So, the whole meal replacement is what we're really going after, rather than the dine-in guests," said Devine. "Obviously, we're still open for dine-in, and we love to have customers, but we want to get our food to them any way we can, and sometimes that's delivery and carry out."
Despite moving Cheddar's into the former Latte's and Sundae's location on 503 Fuller Ave., Devine says they'll still roll out the food truck as well.
"Our outlook is great. You know, we're looking forward to a great summer with the food truck. Hopefully the farmer's markets back in full swing. So we can just sell our sandwiches to a lot of people and make a lot of people happy," said Devine.