An employee hands out takeout orders to customers outside a Chick-fil-A restaurant April 15 in the New York Borough of Brooklyn.

The switch from negative to positive came so fast that it took the CEO of Dallas-based Dickey’s Barbecue Pit by surprise.

Laura Rea Dickey, who helms the chain of about 500 locations that serves spicy kielbasa sausage, pulled pork and chopped brisket, said sales plunged 38% from recent levels in March amid commerce restrictions to stop the spread of covid-19. It was a rapid descent that she described as a “shock to the system.” But this “basement” has turned around faster than she expected.

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