Panama City business leader forges on amidst pandemic

Panama City

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bob Amin began his entrepreneurial endeavors in 2004, right after he graduated college, with one convenience store.

Since then, he’s grown and diversified, with 17 locations from Bay County to Tallahassee. He’s also the owner of the Checkers and Marco’s Pizza franchises in town, and now he’s bringing a Fazoli’s, a Tijuana Flats, and another Checkers to Panama City.

“You know, people are getting tired of eating the same food,” Amin said. “People need some change.” 

Amin said that the pandemic has not gone unnoticed.

“On the convenient store side, we took a hit in the beginning in February/March but then it went right back up,” Amin said. “On Checkers, we felt that it hit a lot more because people didn’t know what to do and they were all were cutting down eating out. So from February, March, all the way down to April we took quite a big hit. For Marco’s Pizza, our model has become delivery a lot more so we didn’t see any.”

But, he said the area’s tourist attraction helped his business survive the summer.

“Many people are not traveling across the United States or to other countries, they’re coming to Panama City. We have great beaches,” Amin said.

Amin said contrary to the current economic climate, he is confident in his previous, and upcoming, investments in Bay County.

“I know people say the pandemic is right around the corner. I know people say the economy might take a toll,” Amin said. “But I’m just going to go with my gut feeling and I have faith in Bay County, the population, that they’re going to support us, support the new business. And we’re going to do whatever it takes for us to succeed and provide great customer service.”

Amin will be opening a convenience store with the new Fazoli’s at Bay City Point and a Tijuana Flats on 23rd Street.

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