Loyal customers, outside the box thinking help San Antonio restaurant stay afloat during COVID-19

Mark Outing, owner and operator of Marks Outing, built window to serve customers

SAN ANTONIO – Businesses across the world, across the country and across Texas have been destroyed in the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants and small businesses are having to adapt in order to survive and stay afloat.

Mark Outing, owner and operator of Marks Outing, has made building changes to keep his burger spot on the East Side alive.

“It may not be the fastest made burger in the world, but it’s gonna be good,” Mark Outing said. ”I enjoy cooking. I enjoy interacting with people,” Outing said.

Outing opened his restaurant on East Commerce with a business partner 15 years ago, with a dream and what he said was little capital.

“I was a car salesman and we just kind of threw around a couple ideas,” Outing said.

At the start of 2020, Mark’s burgers were feeding hundreds of people a day. Then the pandemic hit.

“You wonder, OK, how am I going to feed my family? How am I going to take care of these bills in his building? Those things are all real. And so, I mean, troubling. It could be. But just know that, I did what I can, and leaned on the Lord that he’ll take care of me,” Outing said.

His faith and ingenuity sparked a change that may have saved his business.

“We made somewhat of a to-go drive-up type of a deal where you could drive your cars on the side of the building. So while we were building, this was open. You could pull up and we call them location lots,” Outing said.

And then he got even more creative.

“So we decided, OK, let’s just put a window here. And so that’s what we did. We built the window out. It’s just a window. A temporary window. The wall was flat, so the customers can come in. We had a menu board put up so they can walk up,” Outing said.

The combination of loyal customers, outside the box thinking, delicious menus and passion went a long way.

“Everything is homemade, it is fresh. And I think it’s good food and good service. We’ve tried to have a good atmosphere,” Outing said.

About the Authors

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

Azian Bermea is a photojournalist at KSAT.

Recommended Videos