It’s Almost Too Cold in Chicago to Get a Pizza Delivered
(Bloomberg) -- How cold is Chicago this week? Almost too cold to get a pizza delivered.
Mike Boren, a 28-year-old driver for Dante’s Pizzeria, wore three pairs of socks on Tuesday and still struggled to say warm. The three-store chain said it will be closed Wednesday in response to extreme cold sweeping the region.
“It’s not pleasant,” he said. “There’s a lot of stomping in the snow.”
Bitter cold is taking hold across the upper Midwest to the Northeast, prompting warnings to stay indoors. The National Weather service said the temperature in Chicago dropped on Wednesday to minus 22 degrees at O’Hare International Airport, the lowest recorded in the city since 1985 and among the coldest days ever. And it could get colder still: Temperatures are forecast to undercut those in the Arctic Circle on Wednesday night.
That’s leading some restaurants to give employees the day off. La Colombe Coffee Roasters is closing its five Chicago cafes. “While we pride ourselves on being there for our community, this circumstance is too severe and we need to consider the safety of our people behind the bar. We hope you understand,” the company said in an email.
Chiya Chai Cafe in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood also will be closed, and has a sign on the door saying it wants to ensure everyone’s safety during the “inclement weather conditions.” Wendy’s Co. says “many” of its Midwest restaurants closed early last night and remain closed on Wednesday.
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“The majority of these restaurants are franchise-operated, and there are a few company restaurants in Chicago that are closed today,” spokeswoman Heidi Schauer said in an email.
Meanwhile, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. says all of its locations are scheduled to open Wednesday, but it’s using special technology to monitor refrigeration and temperatures in restaurants. It’s also “being flexible with employees commuting to work today,” according to spokeswoman Laurie Schalow.
Local craft beer brand Goose Island said both its taproom and brewhouse will be closed Wednesday in Chicago. It’s owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Delivery-oriented businesses that do stay open could get a lift. Bad weather typically drives sales, Papa John’s International Inc. said in an emailed statement.
At Dante’s on Tuesday afternoon, deliveries were running three or four times normal. But the company was poised to shut down a little early depending on the temperature and conditions. For Boren, who was scheduled to work until 11 p.m., the frigid weather wasn’t so concerning.
“I’d like to make money, so I don’t mind going late,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of layers on.”
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