Giovanni's Italian Restaurant

Salmon en Bianco is a featured dish at Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant in Copperas Cove.

Some locally owned businesses will suffer lower revenue totals over the next three months as summer approaches.

Copperas Cove, which just finished hosting the annual Rabbit Fest in May, is now preparing for a bit of a dry spell in relation to local events.

“Sales are typically lower during the summer for us, lots of people take family vacations and not many tourists want to come to Copperas Cove,” manager of Giovanni’s Italian Restaurant, Emmanuel Aguilar, said Tuesday.

Aguilar, who’s been the manager of the restaurant for six years, said the lack of events and appeal to visitors is a big reason sales during the summer go down for businesses in the area.

“Our best times for business are always during the school year when families are on the go and don’t always have time to cook at home, Cove isn’t a place that hosts many events, either,” Aguilar said.

While there aren’t many summer events happening in the area, one of the next big events according to the city website, will be when hundreds of runners and cyclists attend the annual Bike-Run Central Texas event Aug. 12.

Over the past few years, the event has been one of the summer’s best highlighted events bringing the biggest amount of visitors to the area each year.

“The running and cycling event usually brings the most revenue because they don’t have much overhead but allow for the most return for the citizens in Cove,” Cove Chamber of Commerce President Greg Solomon said. “Our summer economy is (typically) great.”

The slowed summer sales are also happening to local business in Killeen.

Billy Bob’s Burgers, also experiences lower amounts of customers during the summer months of June, July and August.

Manager at the Stan Schlueter Loop location, Tommy Ray said the combination of their store location and schools being out play the biggest factor in lower revenue numbers.

“Our first couple years our numbers during the summer were really low, especially on Mondays and Tuesdays, but recently our summer numbers have improved,” Ray said on Tuesday.

Billy Bob’s Burgers on Stan Schlueter Loop opened in 2010, and sits tucked away behind a Family Dollar and an Auto Depot, making it hard to see the restaurant for motorists driving by.

Ray said he’s noticed an improvement in the number of customers during the summer in the past two to three years.

“I think word of mouth has been huge for our store. While we don’t fare as well during the summer months, we’ve improved those numbers a lot and that’s mostly because people know where we are and love our high quality food,” Ray said.

The owners of Butler’s BBQ, which recently opened a second location in Killeen, said they experience their best sales numbers during the holidays when people come to the Fort Hood area to visit family.

Co-owners Anthony Butler and Angela Robson said catering and word of mouth helped improve their numbers during the summertime although the summer is still a somewhat slower time compared to other seasons.

“Our lunch hours are always our busiest for sure, but because schools are out, a lot of school district employees don’t come to our stores as often during the summer,” Robson said.

The store has been open since 2013.

City spokeswoman Hilary Shine said the city’s highest sales tax collection is April through June, but slows down a bit July through September.

Events held in Killeen have been known to help sales numbers improve slightly when advertised.

“Hosting events such as conventions, conferences, trade-shows, weddings, banquet and meetings, bring visitors that spend dollars for lodging, transportation, eating at local restaurants and retail shopping thus generating the most sales and lodging tax,” said Kathie Mulheron, director of the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

The city is looking forward to a busy August as the sixth annual Flavors of Central Texas will be at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center.

Vendors will set up booths and offer samples of their finest dishes while residents will enjoy an abundance of food, cooking demonstrations and a silent auction.

One of the newer events happening at the convention center this year will be the Yoga Conference on Aug. 12. It’s slated to be an annual event.

For more information, go to killeenciviccenter.com.

254-501-7568 | quinton@kdhnews.com

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