How COVID-19 is drastically impacting restaurants and salons in California

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Jasmine Wongphatarakul, Features Editor

   Our everyday lives have been changing drastically as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause everyone to quarantine themselves indoors. Many people are adapting to the changes, especially restaurant and salon owners. Since mid-July, restaurants in California have only allowed takeout and outdoor dining, and salons were operating outside. However, Gov. Gavin Newsom is now beginning to allow restaurants and salons to open indoors. 

   On Aug. 28, Gov. Newsom implemented a new plan for reopening California. A four-tiered color coded system is currently in use to determine whether restaurants can allow customers indoors, as reported by LA Times. The following system does not apply to hair salons and barbershops. A county in the purple tier means they have widespread COVID-19 rates, so restaurants have to remain exclusively outdoors. The red tier represents substantial rates, orange is moderate and yellow stands for minimal, according to LA Times. If a county is able to move to the red tier, dine-in is allowed at 25% capacity or 100 people. Regardless of what tier the county is in, hair salons can open indoors with modifications.

   Currently, 25 out of 58 counties remain in the purple tier, according to ABC. Counties like Los Angeles County and Ventura County have restaurants operating outdoors and salons with limited capacity indoors. Only 19 counties are placed into the red tier, including San Diego County and Orange County. Unlike the purple tier, customers can enter in both restaurants and salons, but there are certain social-distancing measures to follow.

   When asked about how COVID-19 has been affecting their restaurant, Mendy Cruse, one of the owners of The Local Pub and Grill, explained, “It obviously has affected us, as well as the entire food and beverage industry significantly. The utmost importance for us at the beginning, however, was our employees. We wanted to be sure that they all stayed safe.”

   Cruse added, “At the first closure notice, March 17th, we quickly had to decide if it was worth it for us to stay open for our takeout business. Our ‘Locals’ come to The Local for an experience. It was an unknown if we would be able to provide that same experience in a takeout box. It turned out that we were able to. We spent a lot of time at the very beginning setting up our online platform so that we could expand our online food takeout services. We currently prefer online ordering through our website, thelocalpubgrill.com, but we also are available through GrubHub, Uber Eats, Postmates and WeGoSCV.”

   The Local is adapting to the current situation and wants to ensure their customers are receiving the same experience while in the safety of their homes. 

   “Once we tackled our first hurdle, we then opened for two weeks and then were closed down again,” stated Cruse. 

   As of now, The Local is offering services on their outdoor patio and newly expanded patio area. They are doing the best they can to serve their customers during this global pandemic and are adhering to the County health department guidelines. 

   The coronavirus is significantly impacting how restaurants and salons operate while accommodating COVID-19 restrictions. Many owners have been struggling financially due to these conditions. As the pandemic is still ongoing, there are constant changes in operation. The restaurants and salons would open at one point, but then shut down by the state when cases increased. According to CNBC, the pandemic is even causing restaurants to file for bankruptcy and close their doors completely. However, the owners of restaurants and salons are working diligently to keep their businesses alive.

   Be sure to wear a mask and social distance when venturing out for a meal or haircut. Stay safe, Cats.