Through Coronavirus, Fort Worth Restaurateurs Endure, Expand Options
Fort Worth restaurateurs run out of options. They need to get creative to reach their customer base through precautions and mandates for COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
Coronavirus has only just started to spread across the United States and northern Texas. While many big brands – Apple, Starbucks, Nike – are closing stores in risk areas to reduce disease transmission, smaller and less busy stores stay open in a turbulent business environment.
It is a pain felt by Richard King, who is a co-owner of Ellerbe Fine Foods. Magnolia Avenue has built a thriving, expanding business model over the past decade, serving upscale, home-style food from Fort Worth.
Now that the city of Fort Worth has hired companies to cut their maximum occupancy in half, everyone in the food and beverage industry is working by the hour as the news cycle goes fast.
Family meals to take away, freeze, or for quick meals in a hyper-cleaned environment have sprung up as Fort Worth restaurants remain open. While not part of Ellerbe’s traditional business model, King represents a greater number of entrepreneurs who hope that customers will continue to eat, double-tip, and support their local businesses in some way.
“We don’t want our heads in the sand. We have to be proactive and creative to maintain income and keep our people busy,” says King. “We tell the staff it will bleed for a while, but we try to slow the bleeding.”
The pandemic strikes and local business owners are calling for continued public support. Fort Worth Chef Jon Bonnell, who has always been a mouthpiece for the city’s burgeoning food scene, took to Facebook on March 14 to voice his concerns in a threatening post.
“Our industry is dying,” said Bonnell. “Every event we planned has been canceled. Sports bars no longer have any sports to offer. College hangouts are now devoid of the colleges they depend on, and no one has an answer on when to return “normal”. “
According to Bonnell, contact with landowners and operators has resulted in a collective sales drought and precarious future. He urges those who feel when they feel safe to go out to continue supporting the Fort Worth food scene “before it’s too late”.
Numerous companies have doubled down to minimize customer contact: aggressive cleaning, expanding options for on the go, and religious emphasis on the importance of social distancing.
Camp Bowie District, Inc. has launched a rolling list of local restaurants, many of which include specials, as well as expanded on-the-go and delivery options, to help combat the precautions taken by COVID-19. “In the midst of COVID-19, we’d like to provide you with a list of Camp Bowie restaurants that are up and running and can serve you delicious food quickly and without health concerns,” says the nonprofit.
Similarly, Visit Fort Worth, the city’s marketing arm, manages a website that features Fort Worth restaurants that offer curb and delivery services and that has more than 90 restaurants.
“This is the best way to support restaurants as the community navigates uncharted territory,” said Mitch Whitten, executive vice president of marketing and strategy for Visit Fort Worth.
Tarrant County’s hotline has been set up to answer questions and concerns about coronavirus 817-248-6299.
While there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, the best way to prevent infection is to take the following precautions:
Wash your hands with soap and water frequently for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom. before the meal; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with a normal household cleaning spray or cloth.
Source: Tarrant County Public Health