Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered the temporary closure of all bars and restaurants on March 16 in response to the spread of COVID-19, according to a press release from the State of Michigan. So, Mason area restaurants and bars are making changes to stay in business.
The temporary closure will last until March 30, according to the press release. Though bars and restaurants will be closed, Whitmer’s order does not prohibit “delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service.”
Owner and Head Brewer of BAD Brewing Company Brian Rasdale said the brewery is remaining open 3-6 p.m. every day. Customers can come in and take items to-go, or call ahead and the brewery will deliver orders to their cars.
“It’s pretty tough still trying to make some money by to-go sales and stuff,” Rasdale said. “I mean there’s not much we can do.”
Rasdale said the brewery is working on getting more beverages canned. The brewery is still getting business, though he said the volume doesn’t compare to the regular flow of customers when community members can enjoy one another’s company.
Operations coordinator of Good Bites Food Truck William Faucett said the food truck has had to cut both hours and employees because of the lack of business.
“Right now we still plan on staying open,” Faucett said. “I mean, it’s to the point where we might still be losing money by staying open with the current business that we’re getting.”
The food truck will remain open from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 1-4 p.m. on weekends.
“It’s hard to say exactly how things are going to go… as long as the government doesn’t issue a full shutdown of businesses, then people might get back into the regular flow of things,” Faucett said.
Jeffery Vanhorn, sous chef at Good Bites Food Truck, said the business is focused on staying afloat until the truck can return back to normalcy.
Across the state, concerns about the economy rise as COVID-19 cases continue to rise as well. The City of Mason has provided information such as a breakdown of executive orders from the state and the COVID-19 hotline for residents.
Currently, confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ingham County total at 18, with 2,294 cases across the state, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
“This crisis will require business and labor working together to ensure that we are putting the best interests of Michiganders first in order to protect public health,” according to a press release from Jeff Donofrio, director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “We understand that these decisions will impact the way we do business, but the decisions we make now will allow us to get our economy back on track sooner rather than later.”
Though the COVID-19 pandemic leads businesses into uncharted territory, the brewery plans to adapt as updates from Whitmer and the state continue.
“It’s just kind of making the best of the situation and trying to do as best as we can until they tell us we can’t anymore,” Rasdale said.