With everything around us closing because of the COVID-19 outbreak, we know the Houston economy is taking a huge punch. Some of the hardest hit were restaurants, and those who earn a living by cash tips. We spoke to John Reed, the owner of Bosscat Kitchen & Libations and BCK – Houston Heights. He’s been in the business for a decade now, and gave us an inside perspective on what kind of impact all of this is having on his business, what he plans to do, and why it’s still safe for you to go out and support local restaurants by ordering take out.
“We’re trying to take additional measures to protect our staff. They are more impacted by anybody. Some of these guys work check-to-check. We’ve been working on a program since last week. We’re going to supplement their pay to get them the essentials. I refuse to let someone go. I refuse to leave them out in the cold,” Reed said.
Reed’s restaurant Bosscat is closing their dining room and doing take-out only. Reed says that the income they’ll make on take-out is only a fraction of what they used to make.
“We anticipate about a 75% to 85% decline in sales over the next 15 days,” Reed said.
Some say they are still worried about eating food from restaurants because of the Coronavirus, but Reed says you don’t have to be. In fact, Reed says you should support local businesses during this difficult time and order take-out from restaurants.
“The biggest thing right now, I think what people neglect or maybe don’t understand, is that the restaurant business is highly governed by city and state health departments,” Reed said. “Restaurants in general are really clean and their practices are way above board in comparison to some corporate buildings, etc.,” Reed said.
Reed went on to say that he knows Houston will get through this and encourages everyone to continue helping each other out, and to support local businesses.
“We’ve been through this before. When that hurricane happened a couple of years ago, everyone was impacted, and I saw something that I had never seen before. I saw different communities of ethnicities and race and different demographics working together. This is the same thing. This too shall pass.”