How Are Restaurants and Businesses Coping During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

One more corona virus article – we know!  But in this case, rather than focusing on the numbers of persons who have tested positive, the panic-ridden buying of non-perishables and toilet paper, we’re going to talk about the scare that’s happening to small businesses.

What is being done by other businesses to ride out this storm? What can you do?

First, let’s get one thing clear: situations like this have happened before and businesses survived.  Take the hard hit felt by the North East during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.  It was not easy, but it was not impossible.  Currently, because so many places are undergoing mandated shutdowns and closings, it’s important to assess what the right course of action may be for you, your employees, and your business.

Keep It Even Cleaner

Hey – time for a pat on the back – we’re already certified to be sanitary as possible. In food service, the need for a sanitary environment has always been not only considered, but mandated. In fact, on the one hand, you’re likely stocked in sani cloths and cleaning solution more than a non-food related business.  Some businesses are doing the following:

  • Shutting down for a deep clean
  • Communicating this deep clean to their current patrons to maintain their brand integrity and commitment to public safety
  • Doing a more thorough clean throughout the day

While this may seem trite, it never hurts to reinforce habits that stop the spread of any illnesses – be sure to bookmark and share the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website for updated information on COVID-19 and be sure to share guides with your staff, such as this one on keeping the work place safe.

Also, be sure to monitor the way you communicate with others – while we may easily identify who is elderly and possibly at greater risk when it comes to COVID-19, we are not always aware of individual health situations as far as who is at greater risk.  Right now, your team is looking to you for leadership, so your words may matter even more than usual at this particular time.

How Can Your Business Help?

Now it’s time to get creative. 

If permitted, can you still offer delivery? Many folks are stuck at home and may find it easier to order in than grocery shop.

Can you list some offers on social media to current patrons who trust your business?  How about pickup options? Perhaps you choose some popular menu items and make them available for pick up. 

Lastly, what expenses can you shift around right now?  Are there currently planned spends such as marketing costs that you can or should postpone?  Before jumping on the shut down wagon – take all of the above into consideration, and do the due diligence to yourself and your business, of doing the math on your options.

Consider Closing (temporarily)

Is it time to close? While we may take every precaution possible, there is the worry that guests simply won’t show up or participate in alternative dining options, regardless.  Some restaurants and other businesses are temporarily closing after seeing their peak hours of profitability are becoming fruitless. Which leads us to, perhaps, the even harder to discuss topic that may be happening between staff, how will workers who depend on wages from your business be paid?

The Cleveland Cavaliers have publicly promised in a statement that they will be paying all arena staff as though the full NBA season was still happening.

The statement read as follows in part:

“Providing as safe and healthy of a work environment as possible for our organization and our visitors is our highest priority and the extensive precautionary and preventative measures being taken continue to be in place. At the same time, we are also developing a compensation plan to continue paying our event staff and hourly workforce that is impacted with the changes to our regular event schedule.”


NBA player Kevin Love has even donated $100,000 towards this effort. Not all businesses or individuals have pockets this deep, however.  This doesn’t mean there are not options.

Applying for Assistance & Checking Your Insurance

You can apply for assistance through a disaster loan citing economic injury.  However, be aware that this kind of loan does include interest (cited to be minimal) and eligibility varies.  You can learn more about this option at the Small Business Administration website. Have you contacted your insurance to see what your options are?  This the time to make those phone calls and review those documents – and if traffic is slow, there is not excuse not to take the time.

Lastly, Food Service Direct is still here for you. is about helping your business in every way we possibly can.  We understand these are considerably difficult experiences for small business owners.  Like many other businesses, we are not unaffected by the current pandemic.  We are working as hard as possible to source the items you’re looking for, and working to make sure we’re still able to deliver them if possible.  However, we still have many items available to you should you need them.


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