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Restaurants and the Coronavirus

South Carolina Business Review logo

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant industry was booming, with new people entering the industry on a regular basis.  Now, they are all but closed, relying on carry-out and delivery, if they can.  Only one year ago, our next guest bought an existing restaurant business in the Midlands, expecting to be celebrating that anniversary, but instead…

Mike Switzer interviews Mita Patel, owner of Columbia Wing Zone near the University of SC campus in downtown Columbia, SC.

After almost 20 years, Mike Switzer retired from Wells Fargo Securities in 2001 as Senior Vice President/Investment Officer and Certified Portfolio Manager. In 1999, he and his wife, Maggie, purchased and operated for eight years the Baskin Robbins ice cream store on Forest Drive in Columbia. They grew the store from a bottom-tier operation in the Baskin Robbins franchise system to one in the top 5% nationwide within three years, tripling sales along the way. While operating the ice cream store, Mike and Maggie received patents for a portable ice cream sink and fold-down sneezeguard they invented and in 2002 started Magnolia Carts, an ice cream cart manufacturing company, which they sold in 2013.