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'It’s Disheartening': Arizona Business On COVID-19, Vandalism

Fired Pie
Fired Pie
handout | contributor
Fired Pie's downtown Tucson location had its windows damaged on May 29, 2020.

Some business owners have no idea how bad the damage is to their stores more than 48 hours after looters broke into Scottsdale Fashion Square. 

Fred Morgan and his partner Doug Doyle own 21 Fired Pie restaurants across Arizona but they haven’t been able to get a look at their Scottsdale Fashion Square location. Morgan said the mall owner is supposed to call Tuesday to let him know what kind of damage was done.

“We have to make an appointment to get in to even assess our damages and to start to clean up and to get our product out of the building,” he said. “We’re going to end up having to throw out almost all our food product that was prepared.”

Morgan hopes the damage is not as bad as what happened in Tucson on Friday night after his restaurant closed early based on police advice.

“My employees were inside cleaning up and they called and said the police have barricaded the street off and all of the sudden the crowd came through and just started throwing boulders through our window, which they were very scared and as I talked to them to go lock themselves in the walk-in [cooler] and try to stay safe,” he said. 

Fortunately, no one broke into the restaurant, but Morgan says nine windows were smashed. The replacement estimate is nearly $10,000, and he’s not sure how much the insurance will cover.

“It’s disheartening,” he said. “People are afraid, they don’t want to go out so it’s going to take time again. You know, just when people were starting to go back out again, it changed people’s behavior.

Morgan said Fired Pie employs 450 people and, in order to keep as many employees as possible during the pandemic, he and Doyle decided to offer delivery and curbside service. Early on in the pandemic he said sales plummeted 65% and recently had improved to a 25% decline compared to sales before COVID-19. 

Over the weekend, he said, sales easily declined 50% because locations were closed and he’s unsure how Gov. Doug Ducey’s weeklong statewide curfew will impact sales.

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As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.