Food

Helping our local restaurants: an interview with Walid Idriss of Macoletta NY

By Loulou Chryssides

Image via Macoletta NY (@macolettany) Instagram.

Since its opening in 2018, Macoletta NY has served the neighborhood thousands of delicious specialty pies. Located at 28-15 24th Avenue, Macoletta has fast become a community favorite, even offering community initiatives such as cooking classes, which its team hopes to start again once it is safe to do so.

Similarly to other restaurants throughout the city, Macoletta has taken somewhat of a hit due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, owner Walid Idriss is choosing to find the silver linings where he can. “We’re safe and grateful. Business is definitely down a lot, but at least we can do take out. Our employees continue to be positive; a month ago we thought we’d be closed but we continue to stay open” said Idriss.

According to Mr. Idriss, business is down nearly 40%, but Macoletta is doing its part to keep its staff healthy and safe, and to keep the overall spirit of the community up. Macoletta has even made a generous food donation to healthcare and essential workers at Mount Sinai Queens.

As for how the community can help restaurants such as Macoletta during this time? Macoletta’s owner was kind enough to offer the following advice:

  • Order directly from the restaurant’s website: Macoletta offers customers the option to directly order for pick-up. When customers sometimes order from third-party sites such as Grubhub or Seamless, the restaurant actually loses a significant amount on commission, according to Idriss. If the food is ordered directly and picked up, the wait time is reduced as well as the issue of a driver cancelling the pick-up from the restaurant.
  • Buy gift cards: Another piece of advice from Macoletta’s owner is to buy gift cards. He added that friends and customers who bought gift cards substantially helped boost morale and confidence that the restaurant could stay open at this time.
  • Recommendations from customers: Macoletta is open to hearing YOUR opinions. Have a favorite menu item that might have been taken off? Let them know! Idriss informed us that salads were something many customers asked for, and one of the newest menu items is a salad for $9.99 that consists of lettuce, butternut squash, and goat cheese.
  • Enjoy promotions offered by participating restaurants: Macoletta is currently offering all wines at 50% off, in addition to lower prices on menu items, such as salads.

Thank you to Mr. Walid Idriss for taking the time to speak with us, and best of luck to Macoletta at this time! If you would like to learn more about Macoletta, you may visit their official website and Instagram.

If you would like to learn more about Give Me Astoria’s work partnering with local restaurants to feed our local healthcare and essential workers, please visit our GoFundMe page.

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