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How are restaurants coping with Covid-19?

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While many eateries are not serving customers inside their establishments, they are safely serving their customers, but at a distance.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered all eateries to close starting on March 20th. Miami Dade County released a statement regarding the regulations in their Declaration of the Local State of Emergency. “All restaurants, bars, taverns, pubs, night clubs, banquet halls, cocktail lounges, cabarets, breweries, cafeterias, and any other alcohol/and or food service business establishments with seating for more than eight people within the incorporated and unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County shall close on-premises service of customers.”

Local restaurants all over Miami are struggling to keep their businesses running from the income made through pick-ups and deliveries. Steven Perricone, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery and Perricone’s Marketplace and Cafe, said, “My wholesale bakery is currently closed due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. The majority of the customers of the bakery are hotels and restaurants, and as a result of all the closers, it forced us to have to suspend production, hopefully temporarily. We recently moved into our new location for Perricone’s Marketplace and Cafe. Our marketplace does delivery and catering, and we also have a first-service restaurant that was scheduled to open in early April. Due to COVID-19 we are open for delivery and pickup only. I will postpone the opening of the restaurant once we return to some sense of normalcy.”

As a result of the closure of eateries, almost 900,000 people in Florida who work in the restaurant industry are now unemployed and worried about how they will support their families. The government has passed a $2.2 trillion relief package as the nation is preparing for a huge economic blow. For gig workers, the government will be giving each restaurant employee $600 dollars, in addition to the $1200 per adult cash payout.  The CARES Act Economic Relief Plan will be giving out loans to small business owners who continue to pay their employees. These employees know that the necessary measures are being taken to protect the health of not only the people working at eateries, but for the public who these restaurants serve.

A Sullivan Street Bakery employee said, “Thank you so much for the update and for understanding the situation and helping to prevent any spread in the Bakery by closing down. It is a brave decision and I admire the whole team for making it. You can always count on me principally with my prayers for everyone in the future by joining the team again. May God keep us all safe and healthy.”

While patrons are unhappy because they are unable to visit their favorite eateries, customer sentiment is pretty consistent. “Due to the quarantine I have been staying home and I have not been going to my favorite coffee shops such as Starbucks. As much as I enjoy coffee, I think it is safer to stay home and I think everyone else should also be staying home in order to prevent the virus from spreading even more. Many of the dining spots and coffee shops have only been accepting pick-ups which I think is safer,” said Maria Jouvin ‘23.

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