Restaurants learn to operate under a new normal
The Veranda in Starkville and Skeetís Hotdogs in Columbus have adapted their operations to function amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Luke Cosby picks up plates to take out to the dining room on Wednesday at The Veranda in Starkville. Martin Rendon, The Verandaís manager, said they are currently operating with one third of their usual staff, and that they had as few as six staff total in April.
Martin Rendon prepares a baked potato on Wednesday at The Veranda in Starkville. All staff members are required to wear face masks and gloves while they work.
Tyler Byars prepares a cup of tea for himself during a lull on Wednesday at The Veranda in Starkville. Byars, who is the bar manager, said things were slow for 6 p.m. on a Wednesday, but he predicted business would pick up later in the evening because of drink specials.
Tyler Byars prepares the bar for the night on Wednesday at The Veranda in Starkville. Every other table inside The Veranda is marked with blue masking tape, indicating that the table is closed so guests can social distance.
Audrey Sowers, hostess at The Veranda, wipes down menus on Wednesday at The Veranda in Starkville. Sowers said she must wipe down each menu before it can be put on tables for diners to use.
From left, Tyreíanna Ranch, 15, and Carolena Graham, 16, work the front of the restaurant on Friday at Skeetís Hotdogs in Columbus. Skeetís Hotdogs is operating with drive-thru and curbside pickup only; their dining room is still closed. Slyvia Graham, owner of Skeetís Hotdogs, said it would be too difficult to follow CDC guidelines in their dining room because the space is small, and people would want to socialize with each other.
The menu inside Skeetís Hotdogs, as shown on Friday in Columbus. Sylvia Graham, owner of Skeetís Hotdogs, said fluctuating prices of products due to COVID-19 has impacted her business, especially Italian beef, which she said went up from $3 to $7 per pound in April.
Carolena Graham, 16, takes a curbside pickup order outside on Friday at Skeetís Hotdogs in Columbus. Slyvia Graham, owner of Skeetís Hotdogs, said she had to cut staff hours for her four employees when the pandemic first hit, but now they are back to normal hours.
Carolena Graham, 16, talks to a customer on Friday outside Skeetís Hotdogs in Columbus. Sylvia Graham, owner of Skeetís Hotdogs, said her staff is following all the CDC guidelines, but besides wearing masks and having their dining room closed, operations are fairly similar to what they were before COVID-19. ďIím just doing what weíre normally supposed to be doing anyway,Ē Graham said.
Carolena Graham, 16, walks through the empty dining room back to the kitchen after bringing out a curbside pickup order on Friday at Skeetís Hotdogs in Columbus. Sylvia Graham, owner of Skeetís Hotdogs, said business has been up throughout the pandemic. Sheís owned Skeetís for 12 years so she knows the buying patterns of her customers. She attributes increased business to people receiving unemployment and stimulus checks.
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