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Uncle Joe's Diner offers free coffee, 10% discount to those on front lines

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Posted at 5:12 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 18:55:23-04

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WKBW) — "I couldn't imagine being in their position right now. The least I can do is offer some coffee and a discount on food," Michael Gargano, the general manager of Uncle Joe's Diner in Hamburg, said. He's offering free coffee and a 10% discount on food to those in the medical field, first responders, the military and anyone dealing with the coronavirus out break first hand.

Uncle Joe's Diner has been serving up hot meals since 1974, but now, it's all to go orders.

"Anybody who eats at my house knows that I eat off paper plates because I don't want to wash plates," said Chef Pauline Ratchuk, "Not so much anymore! Now, I'm all about ceramics!"

Ratchuk has the entire kitchen to herself since the restaurant has gone from 45 employees to only eight. She said it can get a little chaotic alone, especially during Friday's fish fry.

"I just miss being around everybody. I'm sure everybody is feeling the same way," Ratchuk said.

Gargano said normally the restaurant does over 100 orders on slow days. Since they've switched to strictly take out, they've taken 20-30 orders on slow days. He said even though business has slowed, he'd like to thank everyone ordering meals to go.

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"They've been very kind, very patient, very understanding," said Gargano.

Uncle Joe's staff has the restaurant set up so when customers walk in they don't have to touch any door handles. They bring customers' food right to a table at the door, so no one has to set food inside. Gargano said it's to protect his staff and customers.

Uncle Joe's Diner is taking orders over the phone and online. It's also available on GrubHub.