Mancinos Kennedy Drive Bradley

Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders owner Jeff Hersha works to fill an order at the Mancino’s location on Kennedy Drive in Bradley Thursday afternoon.

Sundays are typically one of the busiest days for the two Mancino’s Pizza & Grinders’ locations in Bradley.

But that fact didn’t stop owners Jeff and Angie Hersha from making one of their boldest business decisions since they opened Mancino’s at 1240 N. Kinzie Ave., Bradley, in November 1995, and their second location, 200 Kennedy Drive, Bradley, in December 1999.

It would be fair to say the couple has taken a leap of faith regarding their ability to operate profitable restaurants being open six days a week versus seven.

Beginning this past Sunday, the locations will be closed on Sundays. The Kinzie Avenue location will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Hersha is extending the hours of service at the Kennedy Drive location from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Hersha explained the increased time will help maintain employee hours so they don’t suffer from reduced wages due to the change in Sunday operation.

Why close on Sunday? Simple. So the 30-member workforce and the owners can spend more quality time with family and friends.

“There were too many things out there calling me to make this move,” owner Jeff Hersha said after completion of a recent lunch shift. “[God] will guide us and we will be OK. This is an act of faith, no question. If I look at it logically, this is really a dumb decision. Sunday is one of our better days.”

Hersha said they were looking at cutting back and were considering Monday. But, he said, he reasoned if they really want to give employees a meaningful day off, it should be Sunday. They thought about it, talked about it and finally decided it was the right move.

On Nov. 2, they informed their staff of the move. He described the staff’s response as “stunned.”

In a Facebook letter to customers and friends, Jeff and Angie noted these past months have been filled with anxiety, fear, anger and many other negative emotions. The pandemic, the political atmosphere, the economy, just to name a few, have added tension and a fear of what may be coming next.

“It is a time that we need our family, our friends, and our faith more than ever,” they wrote.

“... It is a time for my wife and I, along with our employees, to use this day for rest and to be around the people that are important to us. My hope is that you, our special customers, will understand and continue to support us as you have in the past. All of us at Mancino’s are so grateful for your business and in many cases your friendship and support.”

Since that post went out, Jeff said they have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback regarding this decision.

“Not one negative comment,” he said. “We’ve been humbled by the comments we’ve received. We have the upmost confidence this will work.

“Sometimes there are some things more important than money. It will be an expensive decision. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. But it will be fine. I have been assured.”

He added: “We will make it. It’s just the right thing to do.”

But what if it doesn’t work? What if they find they cannot make the business a success without Sunday’s receipts?

That is a bridge they will cross if they are forced to. Until then, if you’re in need of a Mancino’s grinder or pizza, the remaining six days of the week can satisfy that desire.

The Daily Journal’s Lee Provost writes about local business rumors, comings and goings and other notes of interest. Anyone with information to share should contact Provost at lprovost@daily-journal.come or 815-937-3364.

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