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Cake Boss: Even my business has been bossed around by COVID-19

Brian Sozzi
·Editor-at-Large
·2-min read

Even the mighty “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro has seen his confectionary empire take a hit during COVID-19 just like so many others in the food service industry.

“It’s really a tough, tough time in the restaurant, bakery and retail business right now. We are probably doing about 40% of what we would normally be doing,” reality TV star and small business owner Valastro told Yahoo Finance Live.

Valastro has flipped what was one popular family-run store, Carlos’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ, into a chain of restaurants and bakeries across the country on the back of his popular “Cake Boss” television show. According to his website, there are now 13 Carlo’s Bakeries in the U.S. The original bakery of course still continues to churn out one of a kind cakes for special events.

Valastro said his bakery mall stores and one Italian restaurant in Las Vegas have been especially hard hit amid restrictions on travel and fears by people of venturing outside during the pandemic. Meanwhile, his location in New York City’s Time Square has been hampered by the lack of Broadway shows.

In this March 27, 2010 photo, Buddy Valastro, of the TLC show "Cake Boss," unveils the 30th anniversary cake he made for Bally's Atlantic City in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Sean M. Fitzgerald)
In this March 27, 2010 photo, Buddy Valastro, of the TLC show "Cake Boss," unveils the 30th anniversary cake he made for Bally's Atlantic City in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/Sean M. Fitzgerald)

Added Valastro, “The weekends are great [at the Vegas restaurant], but during the week that business isn’t coming back until the conventions are back in town.”

Others in the foodservice industry without Valastro’s star power won’t be as lucky as the pandemic rages on.

Nearly one in six restaurants (or about 100,000) are closed either permanently or long-term, according to a recent survey by the National Restaurant Association. About 3 million restaurant workers remain out of work the survey found, noting that the restaurant industry is on track to lose $240 billion in sales by the end of 2020.

“You don’t know how long it lasts, the predictions are going to be unreliable for the next couple of quarters,” long-time Denny’s CEO John Miller told Yahoo Finance on the industry upheaval.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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