By Haywood Liggett
Listen Up, Lansing staff reporter
Downtown Lansing restaurants are using limited hours of operation and stiff competition from one another to their advantage. If food is what you’re looking for, there is no shortage of options in the Capitol City’s downtown region. With over 50 restaurants cramped into a few blocks, one would assume it would be problematic for each one to stay afloat, especially when most of them are not the national brands people are accustomed to. But many, including Backyard BBQ, thrive in this environment. Sue Johnson, the owner, believes that it actually creates more business.
While clothing stores have the luxury of swapping out their inventory to fit the season, seasonal businesses, such as ice cream parlors must improvise to prevent sales from plummeting during the winter months. Shaggie’s, an ice cream store in downtown St. Johns, is one example. According to Shaggie’s manager, Michelle Thompson, Shaggie’s existed alone as an ice cream store for five years until April 2013 when Jersey Giant, a submarine sandwich shop, was added to the business. The store now sells both submarine sandwiches and ice cream to increase marketability and to keep sales from dropping too low in the winter.