A new lockdown order is currently in effect across California. Restaurant owners in Santa Monica are once again forced to rethink the way they do business. While they have the benefit of experience gained during the first lockdown, pandemic fatigue and mounting financial uncertainty has many restaurant owners worry about what comes next.
As before, restaurants in Santa Monica will need to adapt to survive. The following are some of the ways they’re making it happen:
Offering gift cards
Businesses are still feeling the pinch of government restrictions. The draconian rule of California’s lockdown feels unconstitutional and very anti-capitalist to many business owners. However, the importance of public health and safety means government leaders have few alternatives. The COVID-19 virus is simply too easily spread and too potentially lethal to let restaurants allow dine-in service without fines and penalties.
These lockdowns are forcing affected business owners to get very creative about abiding by the law, but not the spirit of the law. Most of the local restaurants are using delivery software to expand their services to include delivery. It looks like this may keep the business open, but the price to do this is rising unemployment. As restaurants move toward a more automated workload, they will require fewer employees.
It seems that the entire food industry is being penalized for roughly 20% of restaurants that were found to be violating social distancing protocols. It would make more sense to shut down the non-compliant businesses. Still, in the COVID-19 panic, government officials do not want any part of being called out for not taking stringent enough measures that might result in a COVID-19 related death.
While there is some risk inherent in dining out, dining should not be shut down unless there is proof that that particular food joint does not follow the rules. Santa Monica has an “Open for Business” map that lets you know who is open for service. To stay open, it is crucial for staff to make use of masks. They are hot, restrictive, and difficult to breathe in, but the number of COVID-19 cases has to go down to lift the restrictions. To that end, here is a list of preventative measures that you can implement to help reduce transmission rates:
Wash hands regularly
Practice safe social distancing
If sick, stay home
Get vaccinated as soon as possible
The vaccines are going to high-risk individuals first. Still, there is already enough now that it will not be long before everyone can get vaccinated if they choose to. There are those not willing to take vaccinations of any kind, and we have to respect that. However, there should be consequences for that decision. We all have to live with our choices because they do not just affect us; those decisions affect everybody.
COVID-19 is not the only thing killing our economy. The government is placing more and more restrictions in place, almost as if they are seeing how many liberties the people are willing to let go of. This year is going to be a chapter for the history books. We have the choice and the chance to rise to the challenge.