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Local Restaurants Feeling the Punch; But Still Giving a Helping Hand
Thursday, March 19, 2020

UNDATED - COVID-19 has brought changes to restaurants, bars and breweries throughout the tri-state region. Such businesses are following the governor’s order to close, and transition to takeout, delivery, and drive-through orders only.

Caruso’s Restaurant in Angola, that has been owned and operated by the same family for over 40 years, served their last face-to-face meal over the weekend when most customers seemed unfazed by fears of COVID-19. In an effort to keep their revenue up, staff employed, and patrons safe, they are highlighting items to-go that will feed the whole family, and some items that patrons can cook at home.

Health officials believe restricting access to restaurants is “a good idea right now,” but it also hurts business in the food and beverage industry. Statistically most area restaurants average 15-20 or more orders an hour during regular set-down service. With the current situation of take-out only sales, they are lucky to have 15-20 orders per meal shift.

Despite the disruption of service business owners like Kellie Kain, who owns Chubby’s in Orland say “more than anything you worry about the people you serve, especially the elderly and the young”. Chubby’s, like many food service businesses, is stepping up to help the community by giving out free non-perishable lunches to kids. Kain said they gave out at least 33 sack lunches on Tuesday to area kids.

At the state level and national level, economic forecasters expect layoffs in the food and beverage industry with hundreds of thousands of workers that could potentially be applying for unemployment insurance.

Despite the ban on dining in, citizens are still encouraged to visit local restaurants by ordering food to go.

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