MARSHALL, Tx. (KSLA) -Sometimes all it takes is one person to make a change. That’s the case over in Marshall, Texas.
Robert Coleman saw the restaurants in his city struggling during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and knew he needed to do something.
“I had gone to eat in three local restaurants,” he said. “It was a little after one o’clock... and so I was at each of those places sitting in the dining room pretty much by myself... realizing at that point those guys were already hurting.”
He got with a friend and decided to create “Marshall Delivers" after seeing a similar Facebook group in Shreveport.
“We never ever dreamed that we would get to the point of having over 2,000 folks, pushing 3,000 and climbing every day,” he said. "So we got to the 2,000 membership level and decided well we’ve got 2,000 ears and eyes and now we’ve got to figure out what to do with them.”
The page allows local restaurants and businesses still open during the pandemic the opportunity to post their menus and different specials and connect with customers.
Coleman says after having the group up for nearly three weeks, restaurants are telling him it’s helping.
“They’ve been able to tell me and share with me that they pretty much had a regular day and for us to be able to hear that a place has had a regular day as far as their business is concerned is just wonderful and exciting for us,” he said.
Julio Rodriguez owns 903 Nutrition Marshall with his wife Maria and heard about the group from a friend.
“Once we found the page a friend of mine was like ‘hey why don’t you guys get on the page Marshall Delivers,’" he said. "You can post the specials for the day or post some of the items that you’re carrying and people are going to be able to see it.
Rodriguez has owned his business for nearly four years and in January they decided to transition to serving different types of products.
“What a time that we picked,” he said. “We didn’t know this was going to happen, so we’ve prayed about it and we’ve just been trying to make the best of it.”
Rodriguez says the page is helping bring customers in and he’s surprised at how large the group has gotten so far.
" I didn’t realize a page would have the kind of result this fast right off the bat," he said. "So once we got on there I was like okay they’ve got a pretty good number of followers and they have been around for a long time.”
Coleman says he’s been able to get N95 masks that he plans to distribute to local restaurants for them to give to workers.
He plans to keep the page up pass the pandemic and already has plans to create webinars to help local businesses learn more about advertising and marketing on social media platforms.