It’s a tough time to be in the dining-out business, but residents continue supporting their favorite spots using takeout and delivery options.
Other food shops have modified their business and marketing strategies to meet today’s challenges. Take vegetarian restaurant The Carbondale Beat, for example. Co-owners Lucy Perutz and Tobyn Britt took a giant leap into the unknown by launching its only food option, Beat Grocery Service.
As Perutz explained, “We aren’t allowing anyone into The Beat apart from my husband and myself in order to keep it as sanitary as possible for our grocery customers.”
She added “We will be offering many grocery staples as well as highlighting local products for pickup and delivery Tues. to Sat.”
Perutz stressed that only orders placed online at thebeatgrocer.com will be filled.
Italian restaurant Allegria has built up a solid customer base since opening almost ten years ago after owner Andreas Fischbacher finished his 15-year stint as executive chef of Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro on Aspen Highlands.
Open for pickup Mon. to Sat, with expanded delivery options now reaching to Glenwood Springs, including Missouri Heights and upvalley to the Intercept Lot at 6 p.m. on Thursdays.
Concerning his staff, Fischbacher noted, “We’ve been able to keep on our year round employees as this is normally our slow season.”
Fishbacher also has beefed up Allegria’s social media presence with frequent menu specialties and updates.
He said, “A number of local farms and ranches are set up to meet demand, and fresh meats and produce are delivered five or six days a week, making it possible for Allegria to present a fresh menu year round.”
Fishbacher added, “I can buy in small batches, so it is always fresh.”
At the recently reopened Village Smithy, Managing Partner Jared Ettelson got a jump start on finances by quickly applying for and receiving the federally-supported Paycheck Protection Program.
“Fortunately,” Ettelson said, “Business is steady, and I’ve not been forced to lay off workers as we are now only open for takeout from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.”
Other restaurants have had to cut back on employees, like Granetta Panini.
Now, owner Fiona McCullough is the only worker, instead of the three she usually employed. She also stressed customers must go to granetta.com to place orders which can be picked up from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.
JC Breakfast and Lunch, a relative newcomer on the local dining scene, is ”doing some takeout and delivery,” said owner Trino Camacho. He said a few people are no longer working there.
Dos Gringos Co-owner Julie Oldham noted that, “We are doing okay day to day, although our business has dropped significantly. It helps we deliver within town limits.”
She added,” We are now offering a full family lasagna meal as a take and bake option.”
According to the Colorado Restaurant Association (CRA), Governor Jared Polis is targeting May 15 as the possible date for the return to dine-in. But, some sources see 50 percent occupancy as a possible solution with social distancing restrictions remaining in place for some time after the infection curve reaches a level that allows eateries to serve dine-in customers.
CNN reported Polis warned people not to think the coronavirus emergency is over, however. “It’s not going to be life as normal. We’re in this for the long haul, but it’s sustainable for the medium term,” Polis said in a press conference the day the order was lifted.
CRA has created the “Angel Relief Fund,” which offers grants to food and beverage service or hospitality workers who have suffered as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Also, the CRA website stated the Kemper Family Foundation established a new restricted fund called the Independent Restaurant Workers Relief Fund. This fund provides grants solely to restaurant workers from Colorado-based, independently owned and operated restaurants who have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus.
Plus, one-time grants from the Independent Restaurant Workers Relief Fund range up to $1,000 per individual and are available to restaurant and food and beverage hospitality workers whose last place of employment was a Colorado-based, independently owned and operated restaurant or small restaurant group. Recipients need to meet specific COVID-19 related criteria.