While restaurants have been granted the ability to open for dine-in service at 50% capacity, some restaurant owners have chosen to stay with a carry-out only model for the time being.
Danny McPherson, one of the owners of Brunches at Mayfaire Community Center and King Neptune Restaurant in Wrightsville Beach, told the GWBJ earlier this month that he did not plan on opening any of his three locations for dine-in service right away, especially over a holiday weekend with the expectation of visitors from across the state and beyond.
“Everyone will make their own decisions based on what’s allowed,” Danny McPherson said. “When we really feel like we can look at our team and say, 'Yes, it’s now safe for people to come in and dine,' that will be when we are ready.”
McPherson posted the following to the Brunches Facebook page:
“Our team is both excited and welcoming of the recent news which allows restaurants to "re-open" with restrictions, including limited capacity. From the beginning of this pandemic, we have made a commitment to our employees that their health and safety would be our top priority.
"At first, this included closing the restaurant for a period of time to come up with adequate systems and processes to accommodate take-out and delivery services. It now includes delaying the opening of our dining room and outdoor areas until we are confident that we have the best systems and processes in place to continue to provide our employees with a safe work environment.”
Hugo Herrera, manager of Brooklyn Pizza Co. in Ogden, said that because of the high volume of takeout the pizzeria does, staying with a carry-out and delivery-only model makes the most sense for him right now.
“We have a very small dining area and it would be very difficult for us to maintain social distancing,” Hugo Herrera said.
Herrera said he plans to keep with the carry-out and delivery model throughout the summer and will reassess dine-in service in the fall.
“Right now every day is like a Friday and it’s only going to get busier over the summer months so this is the best model for us right now,” Herrera said.
Herrera is fortunate to have maintained a full staff throughout the pandemic, and is looking to hire additional employees for the summer months.
Brooklyn Pizza Co. offers their full menu daily, and Herrera said customers should expect longer wait times during peak lunch and dinner hours.
“Delivery is very popular right now because people are staying home, but we’re also in an area where there are a lot of other businesses, so we’re very busy at both lunch and dinnertime,” Herrera said.
Several other area restaurants posted messages to customers via social media last Friday, once the governor’s announcement of Phase 2 reopening was made, including the following from Keg & Egg:
“After a lot of serious thought, discussion and careful consideration we have decided to keep our dining room and bar closed at this time and continue with our takeout/curbside service, family style menu and specials (favorites and new to come).
"This wasn’t an easy decision for us to make however due to the restrictions that are still in place and the size of our restaurant we feel it to be in everyone’s best interest (staff & customers) to proceed this way for the time being.”
The Original Salt Works
and Noma Restaurant and Wine Market
in Porters Neck posted similar messages as well.
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