Local restaurants taking precautions, asking customers to do the same

Local

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — President and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, Melissa Fleischut, said the National Restaurant Association helped the NYS Restaurant Association do a survey to determine the economic hit on restaurants across New York between March 1st and March 22nd.

“What they found, unfortunately, is that $1.29 billion in sales has been lost in New York to the restaurant industry. And, that we’ve lost 250,000 jobs, so far.”

So far, about 5% of New York restaurants have closed permanently. Fleischut said many others will decide on permanent closing in the next 30 days, or so. She added that the ability to do take out has helped, but it will not be enough. Restaurants need to be able to offer inside dining to survive.

Jessica Evans, the general manager at Ama Cocina in Albany, said many restaurants are not used to take-out as their main form of business so it’s taking some getting used to. She said it’s trial and error and they’re seeing, numbers-wise, what makes sense and what doesn’t. In the meantime, she said they’re doing their best to make it work and take every precaution.

“We use sanitizer wipes and we just sanitize things through each exchange. I give the customer the option if they want to just pay over the phone with a credit card and then I do over-the-bar exchange, so they come up to the bar and I’m on one side they’re on the other if they choose to come in,” said Evans.

The City of Albany has also announced that they have designated curbside pick-up areas in front of local eateries to help protect both employees and customers.

Over at the Snowman in Troy, owner John Murphy said, while they’re taking every precaution on their end, now they’re asking for compliance from their customers as they continue to form long lines at the window waiting for their favorite ice cream cones.

Murphy has even spray-painted lines six feet apart along his sidewalk to mark where patrons should stand.

“The public has to know that it’s mandated that everybody has to stay, and is encouraged to stay that far apart,” said Murphy.

He has also put up several signs, but he said he’s likely going to continue to police the situation himself.

“So I’m gonna get out there. We tried to control it yesterday, but people don’t listen. So today I’m going to be out there in force controlling it,” said Murphy.

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