By Linda Sutter – January 13, 2021
After talking to several restaurant owners and managers in our local area one thing was made clear. There was an outpouring of local support to which every owner is deeply touched with much gratitude. The following restaurants reported how the crisis of covid has not only affected earnings, but jobs.
Fisherman Restaurant manager, Sonya, stated there was an abundance of local support and did not see any difference in the sales of food, but staff was cut and currently get 15-20 hours of work weekly.
Apple Peddler, Thai Eatery, and Sea Quake were unavailable to interview. Wing Wah’s permanently closed. The Good Harvest and Best Western restaurants closed.
Enoteca owners Cortni and Darryl kept their business running by personally working 12 hour days. They had 7 staff prior to Covid but have cut down to themselves and one other person. Tips were cut 50-65%. “The worst part is we would place an order for food and the shipment would come in on Monday. The government would shut us down causing us to create specials for take out to sell out the food to meet just the cost. This caused a loss in profit.”
Darryl and Cortni spent $5,000 out of pocket cost for a tent to be placed outside. When asked about the increase in sales tax Darryl responded, “the cost will move onto the consumer with the increase in sales tax and the increase in minimum wage. And it is unfortunate because if it wasn’t for all the local support our business would not make it.”
Port of Pints owner Rick White had 13 staff for his business but busted down to 5-6 staff who work approximately 32-40 hours per week. Food sales stayed about the same, however lost a lot of food when we were closed down and we lost 75% of beer sales. Rick said, “PPP (payroll protection program) helped somewhat but that was because they met 3 criteria: he is a vet, his wife is a minority, and we live in a rural area.” They also applied for different grants. Rick stated, “had it not been for the support of our local community we would have never made it.”
Rick said, “I’m a beer nerd, it’s not about the money but the creativity and passion of making beers of the world.”
Denny’s manager Michelle, stated they went from having 38-42 employees to currently 12. Their employees get 8 hours per week to work. They can not depend on making regular food orders each week as their sales have fallen. Take out orders are slim. She questioned the bigger picture. “I’m not a big environmentalist, but I have to wonder how we are going to contend with the massive amounts of plastic and styrofoam that is being produced from all this takeout.”
The local restaurants have to face quarterly taxes coming up soon, the increase in minimum wage and the increase of sales tax forced down our throats by the elected local government.
One thing is for sure, as a community we stick together through thick and thin, we try our best to support what we have, and talking to all of them brings a great appreciation for our restaurants and local businesses who work their tails off for the benefit of the community.