The city of Philadelphia has a lot on their plate. Literally.
Pope Francis will be in Philly later this month, along with an additional two million people. It seems to be clear that everyone is expecting it to be hectic and businesses know there are going to be a lot of hungry people. Businesses within the Center City area are doing their best to prepare, especially the local restaurants.
Places like T.G.I. Friday’s (1776 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy) are preparing weeks in advance. With the public transit routes changing for the event, the manager of the establishment told the Vanguard that the employees are expected to stay at each other’s houses throughout the weekend. They plan on keeping the same menu that they normally have for convenience. This specific T.G.I. Friday’s has prepared for the long awaited tourists by ordering extra supplies, but didn’t comment on how they planned on storing it. T.G.I. Friday’s arranged for their shipment to arrive Sept. 15th, and won’t be getting another one until after the Papal visit.
Many restaurants in the area will have to stock up on supplies. Another restaurant in the city preparing for the booming weekend has been more fortunate with their preparations. Scratch Biscuits (1306 Chestnut St.) will be getting their last shipment of supplies the Thursday before that weekend. Their employees also live close enough to the restaurant and won’t be affected by the change of public transit plans. They seem to have a solid plan for what is looking to be a weekend of unpredictable outcomes. The dining room at Scratch Biscuits will be closed, but they’ll have a tent in front of the shop with three or four items from their menu for sale. They didn’t comment on what they planned on having, but with things on their menu like The Pigscuit (Carolina pulled pork shoulder, coleslaw, smoked cheddar, fried pork rinds, rival brothers coffee BBQ sauce), it’s definitely going to be easy for customers to order delicious food and continue on with a full stomach for more Pope Festivities.
Other places that are on the parkway will be closed because of the density of people expected to show up. Capiccio Café Cret, a smaller café located two blocks south of T.G.I. Friday’s is one of them. Due to the high expectancy of tourists, associates will most likely work at its affiliated store, Logan sq. Café. It’s located across the street from Logan Square and will be open for business.
Surprisingly enough, some pizza shops in the Center City area didn’t seem to be as organized as some of their competitors. We contacted four establishments; Zio’s Pizza, Brilliant Pizza, Jake’s Pizza, and Ciao Pizza. Two had no plans for the weekend, one declined to comment and another didn’t have a working phone number at all. It’s fair to say that it’s difficult to plan ahead for an event like this, there really is no prior experience to take reference from because it’s never been done before. As far as pizza is concerned, it might be safe to stay away from ordering delivery from some of them located in Center City that weekend. If you don’t plan on participating in any of the events surrounding the Pope it would probably be a good idea to stock up those refrigerators. The pizza stores don’t seem too prepared, restaurants will be packed and due to the changes in the transportation during that weekend it may be harder getting to the grocery market you prefer. Overall, the restaurants in the city seem to be excited about filling up plates for hungry people in order to make a profit during the Pope’s visit to Philadelphia.