Orlando restaurant owner talks ongoing challenges from pandemic

Thomas Ward, owner of Pig Floyd’s, joins News 6 anchor Justin Warmoth on ‘The Weekly’

ORLANDO, Fla. – Few industries have been hit harder by the pandemic than restaurants.

From being forced to shut down in March 2020 to the ongoing shortages of both supplies and workers, the challenges have been constant — especially for local restaurants.

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Thomas Ward, owner of the Orlando BBQ spot Pig Floyd’s, sat down with anchor Justin Warmoth on “The Weekly” to offer perspective on the current state of the restaurant industry.

Thomas Ward has been a guest of the Florida Foodie podcast. You can find his episode in the media player below:

“People are not scared to eat out, they want to eat outside, they want to enjoy the restaurant environment, but we still are 50% to-go,” Ward said. “That, in turn, makes our operation more expensive and slower, which we’re trying to get accustomed to because we used to do just 15-20% to-go.”


With the supply chain shortages, staffing problems and the record inflation rate in the U.S., Ward said it’s more important than ever to support small businesses.

“National chains or anyone who has 10 or more units has the opportunity to go out there and look for cash easier than any small business,” Ward said. “Right now is the time to support small businesses and one-off restaurants because I think they’re going through the hardest time in their career.”

Watch the full interview in the video player above.

About the Author:

Justin Warmoth joined News 6 in February 2013 as our Brevard County reporter. In March of 2016, after anchoring the weekend mornings since August of 2015, Justin was promoted to weekday morning anchor. You can catch him Monday through Friday mornings from 5-7 a.m. and at noon.