Local Restaurants working through Pandemic challenges
Some local restaurants have been struggling more than others trying to work around the COVID-19 rules and regulations in order to stay open and keep their businesses running.
Old Soul Pizza
Ray Bartram with Old Soul Pizza in downtown Roseburg says that they have been extremely grateful and very fortunate to have such a great clientele to help them stay afloat during this time. According to Bartram, their sales have gone up about 15% each year even during the pandemic.
The current restaurant restrictions limit seating capacity to 25%, so they are allowed to have 11 or 12 people inside at the moment, versus 44 regularly. With all of the challenges COVID provides, Bartram has been grateful that they have not had to let any people go, but they have had to cut some hours back to allow everyone to work.
Even with this, Bartram still has not increased pizza prices, although ingredients are becoming more challenging to find, and cheese prices have increased about 50%. With the restrictions and the constant changes, Bartram asks customers to be more understanding since everyone is going through a hard time, and it is harder to make things happen faster: “People have been really supportive during this time, and we are so grateful. Please just be understanding that there are limited amounts of hours and limited amounts of what is available.”
My Coffee, a local coffee shop, has also had support from the community at this time. However, sales have dropped down 50% in some months. The different stages of lockdown are tiresome for them because it is always changing, so they are having to reinvent themselves to accommodate serving their customers in a sanitary and safe environment, co-owner Savannah Underwood says.
“Running a small business/restaurant was already a 24/7 job, but this last year has provided more obstacles and challenges than we could ever have imagined or prepared for,” Underwood says. “We are working twice as hard as we were before pre-covid for anywhere to 30-50% less profit.”
Through this challenging time My Coffee has not adjusted their prices: “We have not raised our prices although we should have. Mostly because we know that everybody’s in the same situation and struggling financially so raising the prices just makes the opportunity for them to enjoy a moment out with a family member over a cup of coffee more burdensome,” Underwood says. My Coffee believes that the community is doing the best they can to support small businesses and putting their money where it matters.
Granny’s Mini Hut
Granny’s Mini Hut, another local restaurant in Roseburg, has been facing some large challenges throughout this pandemic such as losing employees because they had to shut down their business due to COVID exposure. They also canceled many events that they had planned. Owner Tim Lacey said that because of the pandemic they are extremely short handed and will have to remain take-out only until the restaurant can open back up full time again. Granny’s Mini Hut has been trying to navigate through this time by offering more promotions, hoping to get more customers.
Bartram, Underwood and Lacey hope that Douglas County customers will be understanding and continue their support.
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