12 Mile Business, Green Lantern, Deals with Construction and COVID-19


Green Lantern Facebook page

Green Lanterns outdoor seating.

To add on to the difficult situation many small businesses find themselves in, there was additional stress placed on the business owners and workers of 12 Mile in Berkley, Michigan. This time, it wasn’t Covid that halted their business, it was the road construction on 12 Mile which blocked their entrance. Green Lantern, a new and popular pizzeria, was forced to shut down on March 16 due to the global pandemic, after only being open for a month. They continued their carryout and delivery service after closing their indoor seating, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough. As business decreased, they were forced to lay off employees because they couldn’t afford it. Managers then began to worry if they would be able to stay open.

After Green Lantern was finally able to open up again in mid June, they eagerly invited all workers back. Yet, business was not as consistent as before. Green Lantern manager Dave Savage said, “It’s hard to say how much business we lost because we haven’t been open for a year yet, but I would guess about 10%.”

I work at Green Lantern, and from an employee’s standpoint it seemed as if we had lost a lot more than 10% of business. Before Covid, Green Lantern would always be packed. We had everyone scheduled and ready for the busiest nights: 3 hosts, 4-5 servers and 5 people working carryout. With no downtime on our hands, customers were flooding in, and no matter the wait time, sometimes two hours, people were willing to wait in order to try the amazing new pizza place in town.

Being a high school student and working four to five days a week, it was almost too much to keep up with. Making sure I was up to date on schoolwork and making it to work on time was a struggle, but seeing customers happy made it all worth in the end. After Covid, everything changed; I ended up only working two to three days a week. We only had half our staff scheduled, and we never had much to get ready for, being that sometimes we were only getting ten customers who came in over a six hour time period.

“We are lucky to not lose any employees because pizza carries out well and delivery was strong.””

— Dave Savage

In response to this, Green Lantern cut it down to one host, two to three servers and three to four people working carryout. Savage said, “We are lucky to not lose any employees because pizza carries out well and delivery was strong.” Since Green Lantern did not lose any employees, we did have to adjust several components of the work space, such as regular temperature checks, and screening questions, putting emphasis on wearing masks and washing hands regularly, and making sure we sanitized door handles and tables after customers left. As employees had to adjust to those components, customers who came into Green Lantern had to adjust how they entered the parking lot and where to park due to limited parking spaces which sometimes lead to confusion.

Green Lantern continued to not give up on their restaurant and tried to do everything possible to make sure the customers felt safe when coming in to eat. Since some customers do not feel as safe inside the restaurant as they do outside, the city of Berkley helped Green Lantern out by allowing them to open up outdoor seating. They created the outdoor seating right in front of the main entrance on 12 mile to let customers know they were open for business. With the new outdoor seating their business increased, and they are gaining customers back day by day. They noticed the patio really helped them get back to where they started.

As an employee, I found the patio very helpful. Customers were happy because we opened up safe and comfortable seating, and I was happy to finally start back up again and begin to work the same amount I did before Covid.

On a positive note, Green Lantern is finally getting back into the swing of things after all the chaos with construction and covid. We are extremely grateful our community was there to help Green Lantern through this tough time.