Employees at Boiling Madd in Patterson empty crawfish into an ice chest Saturday. Employees are helping each other by redistributing hours to help those most in need.
Submitted Photo/Melinda Fields
Money and credit cards now are sanitized at East Gate Barbecue as a safeguard against COVID-19.
Submitted Photo/Harlan Kappel
With new rules, restaurants learn new ways to work
Tri-City area businesses have been weathering the challenges they are faced with due to COVID-19.
At East Gate Barbecue in Morgan City, owner Harlan Kappel said his business, like others in the area probably are witnessing, too, has experienced a drop in revenue. He said East Gate’s business currently is operating at about 50% less revenue than it did prior to the changes due to COVID-19.
He said the business has opened its drive-through window, something that wasn’t previously used, for carry outs.
“That was a smooth transition for us,” he said.
Sanitizing efforts now include cleaning money and credit cards.
“It’s a whole new way to think about money laundering,” he joked.
He said they have told their servers to “treat credit cards like they’re raw meat.”
He said he has kept his employees together for the most part at both his Morgan City and Youngsville locations.
Kappel said he is concerned about what the economy impact of business will be after the mandates are lifted.
“When we get back out, I’m more worried about the price of oil being low than the virus necessarily,” he said.
At Boiling Madd in Patterson, owner Melinda Fields said business could always be worse, but it could be better, too.
“This was our season that was going to get us through the rest of the year, and I don’t think that’s going to happen,” she said.
Fields also said some of her servers depend on tips from crawfish season to carry them through the rest of the year, and the tips haven’t been there with the changes due to COVID-19.
The business has adjusted by cutting hours, and staff is working together to redistribute the hours without any layoffs.
“They’re so good,” Fields said of her employees. “They’re an awesome team.”
Fields said those employees that have another source of income are sacrificing hours for those that don’t.
“They’re pretty much working together to help each other out, get the hours that they can get,” she said.
Fields said she is thankful for the community’s support.
“Our doors would definitely be closed already if it wouldn’t be for the community,” she said.
Further down U.S. 90 at GameDay Pizza, manager Brandon Harden said the business hasn’t been really affected by the changes.
He said most of their business in the past was dine-in, but they have had success with takeout orders.
“It’s kind of changed, but we have been pretty busy,” he said.
Harden also said the business offers delivery now in the Tri-City area and will deliver to the parish’s west end if the orders are big enough to justify the trip.
Harden said the business hasn’t had to lay off anyone, but they have reassigned employees to other duties.