BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Restaurants reopen dining rooms in Utah, but, some owners worry about patrons returning

May 1, 2020, 7:38 PM | Updated: 7:40 pm
Restaurants reopen dining rooms in Utah, but, some owners worry about patrons returning coronavirus...
(Sean Miller, owner of The Park Cafe, and his girlfriend, Tina Chante, preparing to open their Salt Lake restaurant. Credit: Spenser Heaps, KSL, April 28, 2020)
(Sean Miller, owner of The Park Cafe, and his girlfriend, Tina Chante, preparing to open their Salt Lake restaurant. Credit: Spenser Heaps, KSL, April 28, 2020)

WEST VALLEY CITY – It’s a great day for some restauranteurs who are able to reopen their dining rooms after COVID-19 concerns forced them to shut down.  However, as these restaurants reopen their dining rooms, some of them don’t expect a flood of customers to come back soon, if at all.

There didn’t seem to be a “lunch rush” at very many restaurants in West Valley.  For example, only a couple of people were inside Tonkotsu Ramen Bar shortly after the doors opened.  Still, the few who did show up say they couldn’t wait to come back.  One man tells KSL he didn’t expect to miss dining out as much as he did.

He says, “It sounds a little weird, but I felt empty.”

Co-Owner Nghia Tran oversees the Shabu-Shabu portion of the restaurant.  He says he’ll take all of the needed precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus.  He bought new laminated menus that he can clean more often.  He has hand sanitizer and wipes ready for when customers ask for them.  Plus, he’s clearing out some of the clutter in his floor space.

“I’m taking out chairs.  I’m taking out half the barstools to make sure we’re all doing social distancing.  I’m probably going to reduces seating in the booths by half,” he says.

This shutdown has been overwhelming for Tran, not just financially, but emotionally.  He was under tremendous strain from a lack of income, and his PPP funding didn’t arrive until a day before he reopened.

“Honestly, I’m devastated.  I’m feeling major depression.  It has been very tough.  Even before the shutdown, starting in January, I saw my sales start to go down,” Tran says.  “I’m just trying to get by and get through.  It’s tough times.”

Naturally, as their restaurants reopen their dining rooms, not every restaurant owner feels ready  Workers at The Break Sports Grill in West Valley told KSL they were going to continue delivering food curbside.  Also, Oak Wood Fire Kitchen in Draper will stay closed until they reconfigure their kitchen to give workers enough space.  Officials with Joe’s Crab Shack in Salt Lake City say they’ll limit their in-dining capacity to 25 percent.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall says several business owners would rather stay closed.

Meanwhile, Tran has another thing to worry about.  He wonders if the shutdown hasn’t changed the restaurant industry, forever.

“Even after the shutdown, I think everyone is just going to stay home.  A lot of people stay home from work, now,” he says.

 

RELATED LINKS

Restaurants considering when to reopen amid strict requirements

Excitement and uncertainty: Restaurant owners get ready for dine-in customers on Friday

Mitt Romney proposes ‘patriot pay’ boost of $12 per hour for front-line workers

 

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus 

 

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading: 

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.  
  • Don’t touch your face. 
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet) 
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.) 
  • Get a flu shot. 

Resources for more information: 

 

LOCAL: 

State of Utah:  https://coronavirus.utah.gov/ 

Utah State Board of Education 

Utah Hospital Association 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707 

National Links 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization 

Cases in the United States 

 

  

 

 

Today’s Top Stories

Business + Economy

Apartments for rent in Sugar House on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)...
Kate Davis, Amie Schaeffer

Utah rental prices continue to soar

The cost of renting has skyrocketed in Utah. The price to rent in the state increased more in the past two years more over the two last years than they did in the decade prior.
10 hours ago
home prices salt lake city buy home prices 2020 millennials...
Kate Davis

Home prices in Salt Lake City harbinger of a national trend?

A report from Zillow shows that home values in Salt Lake City fell more than 7% from May to August 2022.
3 days ago
Mandatory Vehicle Safety Inspections...
Jessica Lowell

Extending the life of your car: Getting more miles out of your vehicle

New and used vehicles have a hefty price tag. There are many ways car owners can keep their cars running longer.
3 days ago
Multiple credit cards...
Martha C. White, CNN

America’s dependence on credit cards is growing. The Fed’s rate hike will make it more painful

Data from Bank of America reflects higher rates of borrowing among lower income Americans. Credit utilization, a ratio of how much available credit a person has used as a percentage of their credit limit, has been rising since early 2021.
4 days ago
Ford just unveiled a new Mustang coupe that, notably, is not electric or even hybrid. The new two-d...
Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN Business

Ford: Gas cars are a growth business for us

Gas cars aren't dying, according to an executive at Ford. In fact, they are "booming" the executive says.
4 days ago
A sale sign stands outside a home in Wyndmoor, Pa., Wednesday, June 22, 2022. If you’re settling ...
Anna Bahney, CNN Business

Home sales dropped 20% in August from a year ago

For the seventh month in a row, home sales have declined.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Restaurants reopen dining rooms in Utah, but, some owners worry about patrons returning