Restaurants are making tough decisions on whether it is worth the trouble to offer carryout service only.
The Platinum Dining Group has opted to close its restaurants effective Monday night. Other dining groups have opted to offer carryout service and deliveries.
The decision comes in the wake of a State of Emergency revision that limits restaurants to carryouts.
Carrie Leishman, CEO of the Delaware Restaurant Association wrote in a message to members that the group saw the shutdown coming, but could not convince the governor to stop short of outright closings. She also noted that adjacent states made similar moves.
Longtime northern Delaware restaurant owner Xavier Teixido (Harry’s Savoy Grill, Kid Sheleen’s) wrote in a social media post that employees of restaurants face a crisis.
“Today there will be 15,000 to 20,000 hospitality employees filing for unemployment. No guidance has been issued on how we are to manage this and the waiting period to apply for benefits has not been changed. There is going to be a lot of hardship out there. Lots of restaurants will not re-open and paying people with no revenue for any period of time is not an option for most operators. We need guidance from our governor and administration. It’s sad,” he wrote.
Platinum operates mid-priced restaurants, Eclipe, Redfire Grill, Lemons and Capers, El Camino and Taverna in northern New Castle County.
“In 37 years of the hospitality industry, I’ve never experienced anything even close to this. These are definitely some of the most uncertain times that we have ever faced. We are taking the lead from the health community and our federal, state and local leaders who have made it clear that we need to have a coordinated and collective effort to stop the spread of this virus,” wrote co-owner and CEO Carl Georgi.
“The safety and well being of our employees and guests has always been and continues to be our number one priority. Unfortunately, we can no longer bring people together by providing happiness through food without jeopardizing each other,. We will keep you posted as we progress through this. We will certainly update you when we plan to re-open,” Georgi wrote.
Both Charcoal Pit locations in Prices Corner and north Wilmington, and Columbus Inn in Wilmington, were closed. Also closing in response to the governor’s order is Pure Bread Deli, a six-location sandwich shop.
“Closing our restaurant locations was a logical step during this outbreak. Swift action was needed to ensure the safety of our workers and the community,” said Louis Capano III, CEO of Capano Management, owners of the three properties. “Our next priority is exploring ways to provide food to the community throughout this crisis.”
All workers will be compensated during the closings until further notice. The three locations are considering options to re-open for take-out, drive-through, and curbside pick-up orders.
Ashby Hospitality Group, which operates, McGlynn’s, Newark’s Deer Park and Cantwell’s Tavern in Odessa will continue to offer takeout service.
The same is true for Big Fish Restaurant Group, which has restaurants in both New Castle and Sussex counties in Delaware. Big Fish restaurants offering take-out are Mikimoto’s and Washington Ale House in Wilmington, and Big Fish in Rehoboth.
SoDel Concepts, which operates restaurants in Coastal Sussex County is also offering carryout service.
Regional chain Grotto Pizza immediately announced it will offer carryout service, which has always been a sizable part of their business.