A Slice of Fun

Fishhawk Pizza is a family business. They are dedicated to making the environment for both customers and employees safe.

Meghan Reyes


Meghan Reyes, Reporter

   Covid-19 has had many negative effects on the daily life of the American people. Schools have closed, mental and physical health has declined, but the aspect that has taken the greatest hit has been local businesses.

   FishHawk Pizza is just one of these places that have been affected by Covid-19.

   “On a Friday night, we would have a wait. This entire restaurant would be completely full of one-hundred and fifty people,” John Urso, the owner of Fishhawk Pizza, says “On October 2nd, we opened up our dining room for the first time since everything with Covid happened. We had maybe fifty percent of our usual crowd come in. Which is about seventy-five people.”

   FishHawk Pizza is a very popular restaurant in the area. According to Urso, the drop in in-person attendance hasn’t really affected the money intake of the business. Attendance is still high but in other ways.

   “Our business level is about the same. We’ve transitioned with that. Prior to the outbreak of covid, we started developing an app with our online processor,” Urso says.

   The number of people coming into the restaurant has drastically changed. The Hawk BBQ app was in development prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.  With the development of the Hawk BBQ app, the business has become more virtual than ever before. More customers are ordering via the app or website. 

    “Our employees clean these tables after every use, along with the menus and chairs,” Urso says.

   The restaurant has also enforced mask-wearing and contactless delivery. They have changed their paper menus to laminated menus, for the sake of cleanliness and cost. Menus are used one time for the day, then are sprayed down and quarantined for twenty-four hours. According to Urso, no one will touch a menu after it has already been used. They have switched from bulk salt and pepper shakers, and condiments to single-use packets. 

   “Something I am proud to say when all this pandemic reached we took our employees and didn’t lay off any of them,” Urso says.

   Some servers have been converted into delivery drivers. Bussers have been converted to “expo-managers” who will oversee each area of delivery. Maximizing efficiency and safety is of the utmost priority for the Ursos. Each delivery driver is required to wear a mask and social distance at all times.

   “It has had somewhat of a negative impact on our business. Food costs have gone up since the pandemic happened. If you go into your local Publix and see, ‘Oh why is this meat so expensive?’ That same thing hit every single local food place in the area,” Urso says.

   Costs for every aspect of the food businesses has increased because of Covid-19. Individually packaged condiments and the increased use of paper and cardboard products, has increased the amount of money they are spending on each of these items.  Even though the costs for products have increased, Fishhawk Pizza’s prices have not. 

   “We are the oldest standing family business in FishHawk. We are one of the only pizza places in FishHawk that you can sit down and have a nice meal with your family, and you know everybody,” he says

   FishHawk Pizza is a family-owned business that hasn’t changed its values following Covid-19. They have five other locations in Florida. Whether dine-in or order-out, John Urso is dedicated to making every experience in his restaurant a memorable one.