JOLIET, IL— At a time when several Joliet area restaurants and bars are defying Governor JB Pritzker's mandate halting indoor dining by staying open for customers, Louis' Family Restaurant is not one of them. And during the past eight months, Louis' has changed its entire business model, expanding its menu and trying to build a new generation of regular customers with every intention of keeping them safe by keeping them outside their building.
So far, anyway, it seems to be working.
The latest changes at Louis' Family Restaurant were the creations of Nick Polimenakos, one of the owner's two sons who help run their Joliet restaurant at 1001 West Jefferson St.
During Wednesday's interview, Nick Polimenakos told Joliet Patch that he spent roughly 40 hours setting up a new online ordering system for customers. The goal is to make it easier for Louis' Family Restaurant to handle takeout orders and be cheaper for people using one of their three delivery services: DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub.
"It's going to be a big help because we take so many phone calls right now," he said. "A lot of people do enjoy online (ordering) better because they can see if the order is correct and see all the options we have for them. Some people will order breakfast and lunch on the same ticket."
In the coming days, the new technology will feature an option for customers seeking delivery. Louis' Family Restaurant intends to have a flat delivery fee. The brothers told Patch that Louis' Family Restaurant is climbing toward the top as being one of Joliet's most used food delivery services for DoorDash, Uber Eats and Grubhub, which is positive news.
"The goal is to have the cheapest delivery in Joliet," Nick Polimenakos remarked.
Since debuting the new online ordering system, Nick Polimenakos said they've been getting close to 10 food orders per day from customers. This is great, he said, because the only promotion they've done was through a new Facebook advertising video featuring their restaurant's mascot, Zeus, a golden retriever family pet.
In addition to the new online ordering system, Louis' Family Restaurant has also introduced build-your-own omelettes and breakfast sandwiches to the regular menu as well as a new skillet, aptly named "Nick's Skillet."
"It's green peppers and cheddar cheese and a meat lover's skillet with fries instead of hash browns," Nick Polimenakos remarked.
Louis' Family Restaurant has been a part of Joliet's West Jefferson Street since December 1992. Despite the pandemic, Louis' remains open seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
To check out the menu or use the new online ordering, go here.
Previous Joliet Patch coverage: Zeus, Rigo Become Social Media Stars At Louis' Restaurant