There’s nowhere to sit at Finn Hall in downtown Houston these days, but it’s not because of an influx of business.
Just like the rest of the world, business owners are social distancing themselves from customers, only offering take-out. Like Lauren Hudgens, co-owner of Yong restaurant, who’s been keeping an eye on the coronavirus since January.
“We started following the talk about Chinatown, how no one was going there. We were really monitoring that because we were thinking this could really really affect us.”
It all started about a week and a half ago when concessions started being made to keep to the business going.
“We started by cutting about 15 shifts a couple weeks ago, I cut all the shifts this week. I’m running payroll for my guys this week so they get paid on Friday. Hopefully, I can give them a stipend the following week if I haven’t been able to schedule them. We’ve opened a gofundme account and received some generous donations. I think that can push us through the next 2-4 weeks.”
After that it’s unknown, depending entirely on how many people will continue online ordering. So who is filling those orders? Lauren and Daniel. Doing everything from cooking, cleaning, cashier, and advertising that they’re still open.
What’s worse? Lauren, just like the rest of us, has no idea when things could be getting back to normal.
“I’m hoping that by the beginning of April we can start to see some traffic again. I’m prepared to possibly wait this out till like May. Every day is different, we just don’t know.”