El comalito

Known for its infusion of Salvadorean and American cuisine, El Comalito has been a family owned restaurant for six years. For owner Silvia Huezo, the economy is affecting her business, but she still remains hopeful that the decline will soon end.

“[Our business] is balanced out with good and bad days,” said Huezo, “and the main thing that has been affected the most are the prices of the products [we] buy to make the food.”

In the first three months of 2010, the restaurant and food service industry added 42,500 jobs, adjusted for typical seasonal hiring patterns, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Industry still had 251,000 fewer jobs than it did in December 2007, when the recession began, according to The New York Times.

Huezo owns two restaurants now, one in Takoma Park and the other one in Gaithersburg .

“My products are fresh and everything is made from scratch,” said Huezo.

Although they do get complaints sometimes because the clients want their food very quick, Huezo believes that making her food from scratch is what has made her successful.

The good news is that many restaurants are finding new and creative ways to maintain their customer base during challenging economic times. Some of these adaptations and changes are long overdue, and may serve the restaurants well once the economy gets back on track.

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