'We've lost 99.5 per cent of our business': Local restaurant owner
LONDON, ONT. -- With Skip the Dishes, drive thrus and Uber Eats, ordering take-out from local restaurants may not make the top of your list.
Chris Anastassakis, owner of Angel’s Family Restaurant, is asking the public to consider ordering food from, "the little guys.”
“As of yesterday about 99.5 per cent of our sales have gone down," says Anastassakis.
Anastassakis says his restaurant is known by customers as a dining-in experience which also happens to do take-out. But now that their doors are closed they're relying on people to pick up orders or call in for delivery.
“People don’t know that we are still doing take-out,” Anastassakis says. “It’s hard to get the word out.”
Before the pandemic, Angel’s Family Restaurant served up to 500 customers a day, but after being forced to close its dining-room, they serve "about ten customers."
“We’ve had to lay off virtually everyone in our staff. We have approximately 45-50 employees at any given time. Now its me, my wife and my daughter.”
Anastassakis has donated all perishable food items to the Salvation Army and arear food banks.
Another local restaurant located in the downtown core that's feeling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis is Joe Kool's.
Owner Mike Smith says he is trying his best to keep as many people employed as he can.
“Our business is down, obviously,” Smith says. “We have some sales and they don’t equal what our labour is but some sales allow us to employ some people who really need the work.”
But with a decrease in clientele, Smith has been forced to lay off staff.
“Well it's horrible. We probably have 15 to 20 people working and we usually have 200. Thats a huge loss of jobs.”
Smith has been donating food from the restaurant to employees that are struggling as well as employing cleaning staff when he can.
“We have a lot of people in our industry that don’t have any form of income so trying to get people to do repair work, deep cleaning, making the food is important,” Smith says.
Smith says that in times like these, it’s good for the community to stick together.
“There’s a lot of people that are buying food from us just to support the people who need the jobs which is appreciated by everybody. We all understand that everybody is going through it to some extent and I think stick together. Keep showing encouragement to people and we will get through this.”