CHICAGO (CBS) — The coronavirus crisis has led some restaurants to decide to close – with some just unable to cut it with takeout and delivery.
In fact, some restaurants say it is not even safe to stay open.
As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported, some restaurant owners also say they may never recover.
The group behind restaurants like Pacific Standard Time, 141 W. Erie St., cited health and safety of staff and guests in their decision to close their doors.
Meanwhile, some other restaurants just aren’t getting the business they need to keep going.
In the Pedway level of the Block 37 Mall, Gayle Voss is used to whipping up hundreds of farm fresh grilled cheese sandwiches a day at Gayle V’s Best Ever Grilled Cheese.
On Monday, she remained open – but there was no lunch rush and there were five sandwiches behind the counter. Thus, Voss has made the emotional decision to clean up and close up entirely.
“The foot traffic is down in the Pedway, which I need to stay open,” Voss said.
Having already laid off her employees, Voss tried delivery services. But she didn’t get the boost she hoped for.
“I signed up for Grubhub delivery as well as Uber Eats delivery,” Voss said. “Grubhub, one to three orders a day, and I’m still waiting for my Uber Eats tablet to arrive.”
Voss is hardly alone in her decision to close for now.
One Off Hospitality, which operates numerous local restaurants including Blackbird, 619 W. Randolph St.; Avec, 615 W. Randolph St., Publican, 837 W. Fulton Market; and Big Star, which has locations at 1531 N. Damen Ave. and 3640 N. Clark St., has also decided to close its restaurants for the time being.
“The decision to temporarily close was based purely on the health and safety of our staff and our guests – that is the number one priority for the group and it became evident with the increased growth of the virus, that’s where we needed to put our focus,” marketing and PR director Maggie Perry said in a statement.
The One Off restaurants had been doing takeout and delivery. It is not clear when they’re open again, and it’s not clear for Voss either.
But in all the uncertainty, Voss said, “I’m optimistic.”
The National Restaurant Association estimates that during the first three weeks of March, the industry lost about $25 billion in sales and more than 3 million jobs.
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