Son helps save father's local restaurant with social media post

An emotional Facebook post about his father's struggling restaurant prompted the Central Florida community to come together and save it. 

The business is not getting national attention.

Like many restaurants, High Tide Harry's -- located on Semoran Blvd. in Orlando -- was hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Owner Mike Heretick had to shut the restaurant down after 25 years and wait out the pandemic to see if the doors would ever open again.

They did, but the restaurant still struggled to fill seats. 

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To help his father, Brennan Heretick posted an emotional plea to the community on Facebook.

"In March, we lost over $100,000 dollars when COVID hit. Since then, we've lost money every month. Last month, in November, we lost almost $40,000. He still hasn't taken a salary since March. But, the managers are being paid, our employees are being paid, and he wakes up every morning with his life savings on the line.

Can you imagine working for something your whole life just to lose everything in less than year's time?"

Brennan said his father has put in 80-100 hours a week inside of the restaurant, mopping floors 2-3 times, wiping bathroom walls, and tasting soups every morning to make sure they are perfect.

"I'm asking if we've ever taken good care of you and you have the means to do so, we would love to have you back to dine with us because we want to provide you with an amazing meal, at a great price and for you to be well taken care of with the best service in an upbeat atmosphere. 

"If you've ever dined with us and we fell short of your expectations, I sincerely apologize on behalf of our entire family. We want every review to be 5*, we want every guest to leave our restaurant full and happy and we lose sleep when that isn't the case. If you fall in this category, I'm asking for a second chance."

The heartfelt post was shared over 1,000 times -- and the customers came pouring in. 

Brennan tells FOX 35 News that thanks to the community, the restaurant has done record numbers in the past few days that they've never done in the company's 25-year history. 

"Our staff is happy, He's happy and we're back in business and having people coming through our doors again," Brennan said. "It's just such a great feeling. We can't thank people enough."

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Mike says he is blown away by all of the support.

"I've seen people that I haven't seen in years and years that are coming back. It's just an incredible feeling."

Brennan says they haven't lost a single employee through the pandemic and they are thankful for their loyalty.

"All the credit goes to our staff. They're handling the business, all this influx of business we've received. They're doing such a good job, giving good service."

As for advice for local businesses, Mike says, "Keep your employees at all costs. You're going to need them in the near future. Without employees, an entrepreneurship is actually nothing. You can't do it by yourself. You need a great team and we have one."

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