Local restaurants affected by quarantine
Kaelyn Rodrigues | Staff Writer
Local restaurants are altering their normal operations to keep their customers and employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manan Raval is the manager of Curries, an Indian restaurant with a daily lunch buffet located in Sharonville. Because restaurants are now carry-out only due to orders by the state government, Raval said his business has lost much of their usual revenue.
“It has affected us a lot,” Raval said. “For example, we were doing around $2,000 per day on dining in the restaurant, but right now we are doing $300 to $400 maximum on carryout. We have a monthly-based payroll, we don’t have hourly-based people working for us, so we cannot decrease anybody’s hours. We have to either close down [the restaurant], or we have to pay them.”
Some of Curries’ regular customers have helped the restaurant get more orders by sponsoring or arranging small events. One customer gathered orders from families in the Hunters Green and Greenfield Place neighborhoods and organized home deliveries to help support Curries.
“One of my regular customers initiated this just to help us out,” Raval said. “[He said], ‘If you can serve breakfast, I can gather some people and they can buy from you.’ He just started spreading the word on my behalf and gathered around 15 to 18 families who [bought] breakfast from Curries. We also supplied lunch boxes to Christ hospital, which was sponsored by another one of our customers.”
In order to abide by government orders, restaurants no longer offer dine-in eating to their customers. Senior Bhavna Sivakumar, who works for Panera Bread, said no-contact delivery and carry-out options have been put into place at her store.
“Anytime we have online or phone-in order, customers can either pull through the drive-thru or we can bring it out to their car,” Sivakumar said. “There’s a button on their online order they can click when they are in the parking lot, and it rings an alarm in the store alerting us to bring their food outside.
In addition to the no-contact options, her store has put stricter cleaning policies into place to prevent the spread of germs between customers and employees.
“Because of the pandemic, we have had to shut down the dining room and remove almost everything that customers can pick up– straws, sugar, coffee cups, etc.,” Sivakumar said. “There’s more extensive cleaning being done everyday to ensure our employees are safe as well.”
Raval said it means a lot to him when his customers organize events and group orders to support him and his business.
“During this difficult time, every little bit counts,” Raval said. “We need this kind of help to be in business, or at least to help us survive. It’s not just about business. Those who work for us also get paid; [they] survive on it.”
Photos contributed by Manan Raval.