As many restaurants and eateries in Ohio feel the effects of the ban on dining out in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, local delis and restaurants are facing important decisions regarding their businesses.
Joel Davis, president of Davis Bakery and Deli in Woodmere, said business is still generally steady, but more so in spurts.
“We do have bread, which is one of those items supermarkets have run out of,” he said. “So, there is an increase of bread sales. We’re also seeing the usual items go – like coconut bars and Russian tea biscuits. People are really looking for their comfort food in times like this.”
Staffing has been mildly affected, Davis said, specifically the institutional side. Retail employees have had the same hours, with no changes anticipated.
“With restaurants and venues closing down, that affected the institutional business,” he said. “We have temporary layoffs for three employees and we’re reducing work weeks for others.”
Davis noted its delivery business has increased and can be done through Davis Bakery directly or through its delivery partners.
Amanda Kurland, co-owner of Corky & Lenny’s in Woodmere, said the impact has been felt, but the community is still supporting the business.
“We are a sit-down restaurant and a take-out, so we’re not geared to just do take-out,” Kurland said. “(On March 16), we did a decent amount of take-out, but it isn’t as much as we normally do.”
Due to the decrease in sales, Kurland said some staff has been laid off for the time being to make up the revenue.
“We hope to get them back after all of this, though,” she added.
Though people have been coming out to support the restaurant, Kurland noted for now, the future of the restaurant is unclear.
“I don’t know if it makes sense (to stay open),” she said. “We have to make payroll.”
As of March 17, the local deli and restaurant closed its doors until at least March 20, with the intention of re-evaluating the business.
“Could be possibly longer,” Kurland said. “We’re doing our part to ‘flatten the curve.’”
In a letter addressed to its customers, Moishe Berkovic of Kinneret Kosher Restaurant in Cleveland Heights, said the kosher restaurant will remain open, but only operate take-out and delivery.
“Kinneret Restaurant serves as a gathering place for family and friends alike, which makes safety our (utmost) priority,” the note read.
Free delivery is available for orders over $65 to Beachwood, Cleveland Heights and University Heights. Curbside pickup is also available.
Davis and Kurland agree with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision to limit restaurant business.
“The longer we would wait to make these necessary, drastic changes, there would be more cases,” Davis said. “So I certainly agree with it, though it hurts us. We have to do what is best for everyone.
“We’re certainly going to weather the storm. With 80 years in business, there has been good times and bad times. We’ll make it out and look forward to things getting back to normal.”
Kurland said, “I’m not a medical expert and if the expert of the state is saying this is what we need to do to be safe, I respect that decision. People’s health and safety is the most important thing. So, if the governor and his medical expert is saying the way to be safe is not have everyone in restaurants, I respect that.”
Jack’s Deli and Restaurant in University Heights closed following business on March 17, according to a Facebook post. Multiple attempts to speak with representatives at Jack’s were unsuccessful.