Driving thru COVID-19

Local restaurants work around the current pandemic with delivery and takeout orders only


Photo courtesy of Le Peep

Le Peep extended their hours around this pandemic by having a morning shift 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., as well as a night shift from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. “Sales at my legacy location have been going well with strictly sticking to takeout orders,”Le Peep employee senior Madaline Vojslavek said. “Overall business isn’t as strong as we would want it going into April, but with the situation and with what we have, we aren’t doing too bad.”

Jasmine Hermosillo-Padilla, Online Editor

With the spread of COVID-19, Governor Pete Ricketts needed to take precautions in order to slow down the virus in the state. Part of those regulations had limitations on gatherings, such as public places, including daycares, stores and restaurants. 

Many big corporate establishments closed their doors or shortened hours for the sake of their employees’ health, but for local businesses, this was an opportunity to do more for the community. 

Places such as Over Easy, Le Peep and Timber Creek have extended their services from offering take out to curbside pick up and delivery. 

“Since the 10 person limitations have been put in place, Over Easy has had to change its complete business model,” owner Nick Bartholomew said. “Now operating as a 100% drive through, to-go restaurant personnel from servers to hostesses have had to change to hourly employees so that they can continue to make wage without their normal tips.”  

Other changes in the local restaurant industry include extended hours as well as menu updates. For many breakfast spots, they have lengthened their hours to be able to serve until 8 p.m. rather than their usual closing time of 2 p.m. 

“Menus have had to change to reflect family-style meals that are comforting,” Bartholomew said. “With the changes that have been made to the public and their dining habits, what I have learned the most is the value of having nimbleness to your business, meaning not getting comfortable with what you’ve always done and looking for a way to continue your growth and your ability to be quick on your feet.”

These changes, also involving social distancing, were critical during the time of this pandemic. The decisions made were created in order to prioritize the safety of everyone in the area.

“These restrictions have definitely been placed to help stay up with the CDC regulations all around COVID-19,” Le Peep employee senior Madaline Vojslavek said. “The goal is to keep our currently small staff, as well as the rest of our employees and customers, as healthy as possible to ensure business runs smoothly.” 

Despite these challenges, the community has been able to team up with local businesses to show their support while still running their businesses. 

“Even though we are now doing delivery and take out only, our facility has still been very busy during the hours we are open,” Timber Creek employee senior Nader Sharif said. “With delivery services now available, I feel like it is a good way to help out during this pandemic, especially considering many people do not want to risk themselves being exposed, so they stay home.” 

With various social media platforms all over the internet, restaurants have been able to post about their business, getting more exposure to a bigger audience. This way, more people are aware of what is being offered at the time. 

Ricketts has been following along with these local restaurants and recently declared Tuesdays to be “Takeout Tuesdays.” This new weekly tradition promotes the idea of supporting local businesses. 

“There’s never been a time in my career that I can remember when supporting local businesses has been more important,” Bartholomew said. “These establishments give our communities flavor and identity as to what our neighborhoods need and want those neighborhoods support. Communities run the risk of not only losing excellent business models but of what makes them special.” 

As COVID-19 continues as well as Takeout Tuesdays, local businesses continue to keep their doors open in hopes that it will encourage customers to support more establishments in the area.