Restaurant operators across the Eastern Seaboard dug out from a massive snowstorm named Jonas over the weekend that shut down travel and kept many workers and students home on Monday.

The blizzard left up to 40 inches of snow in some areas, from Georgia to Massachusetts, and was blamed for more than three dozen deaths, according to the Associated Press. Flights at airports across the Northeast were cancelled through the weekend and into Monday.

With travel bans in force through the weekend and many roads impassable, restaurants across much of the east were closed temporarily, but reopened on Sunday and Monday where possible.

Denver-based Smashburger, for example, said roughly 65 units from Atlanta to Boston were impacted by the storm and closed on Saturday and Sunday, though all were open for normal business hours on Monday.

Officials at Seattle-based Starbucks Corp. said Monday that the coffeehouse chain was still working to resume operations at impacted units, though most locations that closed as a result of weather had reopened by Monday afternoon.

“The safety and well being of our partners (employees) and customers is our top priority and yet we understand that Starbucks is a gathering place for the community, particularly during times like this,” a Starbucks spokeswoman said.

“While we don’t yet have the confirmed number of stores that remained closed today, our teams have been working diligently to resume operations in our impacted stores as quickly as possible.”

Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Donuts took to Instagram with the snow day mentality, but officials said all restaurants through the region were open as usual Monday after some closed at various times through the weekend.

 

Snow day essentials (@jgraceblog)

A photo posted by dunkindonuts (@dunkindonuts) on

The Nando’s Peri-Peri chicken chain, with about two dozen locations around the Washington, D.C., area, closed units over the weekend, but all were able to open for business by Monday. The restaurants offered a free meal to police, firefighters and emergency medical crews in uniform to give them an “extra hot thank you” for their service.

 

Come warm up by our grills! All our restaurants are open today. Any police, firefighters and EMT in uniform today in our...

Posted by Nando's PERi-PERi on Monday, January 25, 2016

It was a small gesture considering how busy first responders were over the weekend, said Sepanta Bagherpour, Nando’s head of marketing. “But it got an enormous amount of love on social media, which is really cool. People were incredibly appreciative.”

Some Nando’s units were forced to reopen with a limited staff because workers were unable to travel, but Bagherpour said it wasn’t really an issue, given that business was very slow with the federal government and schools in the DC area closed on Monday.

“But the staff in restaurants are having fun, delivering food to TV stations in DC and serving first responders,” he said. “They just decided let’s have fun and feed people.”

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout