ANKENY, Iowa — Ben Carris opened his own restaurant, Ben's Burgers, on March 13, 2020, in south Ankeny.
Days later, Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered the entire state to shut down due to the looming threat of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
"Initially I thought I had to close down altogether," Carris said. "And I was like, "Oh man how do we— I've got bills to pay, I've got rent to pay, employees that are counting on making money.' And, so that was very scary."
The burger joint specializes in made-to-order, fresh burgers along with fries and milkshakes.
Carris said the pivotal part of their success in surviving through the pandemic has been drive-thru orders since indoor dining was shut down four days after the shop opened.
He admitted he was scared at first because no cars were out on the roads at the start of the pandemic, but customers started trickling in at the drive-thru and eventually inside once indoor dining resumed.
Even though the economy has been difficult through the past year, Carris said he is pleased with how his business has been handling it.
To thank customers for sticking with them through the tumultuous year, Ben's Burgers will be holding a $1 burger day on Saturday from 3-7 p.m., drive-thru only.
Customers will be limited to two $1 burgers per car.
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