As difficult as the past month has been for restaurants in New York City and New Jersey, many have found ways to adapt to social distancing and Stay At Home orders, allowing them to survive during these challenging times. Before we know it, many of our favorite restaurants could start regular service again as several are preparing to be phased in for scheduled business reopenings.
Since the coronavirus outbreak in early March, restaurants have been among the hardest-hit businesses, forced to shut their doors to customers — and to their economic lifeblood. But since Stay At Home orders went into effect and New Yorkers found themselves rarely leaving their homes, some restaurants discovered a new market: take-out orders. The use of online orders from customers conveniently reviewing their menu from the safety of their homes has helped keep some eateries open. Now, it may be just weeks before restaurant owners can reopen for sit-down service.
When they do reopen, it will likely be under new health, safety, cleanliness, and social distancing standards that will make the dining experience feel quite different from just six months ago. Some restaurants that have remained closed during Stay At Home have found a useful resource in self-storage. Self-storage units for businesses have allowed many restaurant owners to keep inventory, stock, accounting records, and other business items safe in a climate-controlled environment while riding out the lockdown.
How are NYC Restaurants Coping With the COVID-19 Shutdowns?
Along with sports and entertainment facilities, restaurants by their very nature have been hard hit in this time of social distancing, when large groups of patrons cannot sit or congregate together. Still, NYC restaurant industry experts see a light at the end of the tunnel, with restaurants able to cope through several means.
Take Out and Delivery
More and more NYC restaurants are investing in take out and delivery services for customers under Stay At Home orders but still eager to get restaurant-quality meals. Smartphones have become a critical tool for them, allowing patrons to:
- Review their menu
- Place take out orders
- Arrange for pickup or deliver
- Ask questions
- Pay for meals
At the same time, social distancing is also turning some restaurants into “ghost kitchens,” where it’s necessary to keep chefs out of a crowded backroom kitchen. Now more of them are working at alternate locations, even their homes, with more and more cooking done offsite.
When restaurants do reopen, it’ll likely happen with new health and safety standards. That could mean more outdoor seating in the warm months, and limiting indoor capacity to no more than 25%. It’s also going to mean higher cleanliness standards and constant recleaning of tables. It could also mean spacing tables farther apart so customers maintain social distancing. It’s also possible that restaurants could start doing temperature checks as customers arrive at the door.
Private and Government Aid
Despite the shutdowns, restaurants remain a critical part of NYC’s business community. In fact, estimates show that the New York City restaurant industry produces about $50 billion in sales annually.
These owners may not have to face survival in the COVID-19 era alone. Several nonprofit organizations have started new initiatives to provide financial relief and assistance to this struggling industry, including Rethink Food NYC, which started its Restaurant Response Program to provide grants of $40,000 to local restaurants that are at risk of going out of business. In return, those restaurants agree to prepare meals at an affordable price to help alleviate food shortages in the city.
Restaurants can also apply for aid from the federal stimulus program. Because the restaurant industry employs more than 15 million people in the U.S., the stimulus created a “Paycheck Protection Program” providing eligible small businesses with government-backed interruption loans that can be used for expenses such as:
- Mortgage or rent payments
- and utilities.
The loans are meant for small businesses with less than 500 employees and are intended to give struggling businesses the incentive to keep workers on their payroll.
How Self-Storage Can Help Your Restaurant Today
For restaurants that are temporarily closed or shifting workers offsite, a storage unit can give them a safe place to store items until they’re ready to fully reopen. That can include:
A storage unit with climate control is a good option for wine, spices, and perishables that don’t need to be refrigerated. Your restaurant can avoid spoilage by keeping these items in a unit where a steady temperature keeps them from being exposed to the extreme summer heat and humidity.
Whatever you have at your restaurant that’s valuable and you want to protect will be safe at a facility like Treasure Island Storage, which offers advanced security measures like video surveillance, front gate access, and indoor and outdoor lighting. That can include everything from furniture to files and paperwork to seasonal items.
Restaurant and Catering Service Storage Units in NYC
If you have a restaurant or catering service business in New York City or in the New Jersey metro areas, Treasure Island Storage can assist you during the COVID-19 shutdown period. With a variety of sizes and features in our many locations, we have storage units specifically made to meet your commercial storage needs.
We offer free pick up services, climate-controlled units, and the best in security. Treasure Island Storage has more than a decade of experience in the commercial storage business, so we know how to take proper care of all your restaurant and business belongings. Give us a call at 212-804-8972 to find out about all our units, services, and locations today.