Popular Detroit restaurant adapts to keep customers safe

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Kalah Harris

Julio Suarez is pictured making a chicken shawarma wrap at the Bucharest Grill, Livernois location.

DETROIT, Mich– When Bucharest Grill reopened on June 8, manager Ricardo Vidal was ready to serve good food and keep customers safe.

“Anybody has to wear a mask coming into the restaurant,” Vidal said. “I think it’s better, it’s safer for everybody both my staff and the customers.”

Whitmer announced June 1 that the stay-at-home order will be lifted for restaurants, retail stores, day camps for children, pools, nail salons, spas and more in the then upcoming weeks. Restaurants are now allowed to have customers come inside of their establishments but at only 50% of its original capacity while following additional rules.

When the stay-at-home order was first issued in late March, businesses that were considered essential had to remain open.

“The first couple of weeks the pandemic was breaking out I want to say that business slowed down by 50%, easy,”  said Ricardo Vidal, manager at Bucharest Grill. 

Not only did money slow down for Bucharest but staff was cut, the hiring process had to be stopped, and it had to reduce its store operating hours from closing at 11 p.m. to closing at 8 p.m. 

Bucharest Grill has been in business since 2006.

New rules have been put in place for those coming into the restaurant like keeping six feet apart, wearing a mask, and not being allowed in certain areas near the workers. For the employees their work life has changed slightly in order to ensure everyone’s safety. 

“We have to be more careful with our customers,” said Julio Suarez, a cook at Bucharest Grill. “Be more conscious of our cleaning and cleaning after ourselves, wear our mask.” 

Opening up the state again might have been exciting for those who were anxious to get back to the way things were before the COVID-19 but not everyone feels at ease with Gov. Whitmer’s decision. 

“It’s kind of scary but I’m being cautious,” said Barbara Goodman, a customer getting takeout at Bucharest Grill. 

This new way of life is taking some getting used to for some employees at Bucharest Grill.

“I’m being questioned every other day where’s my gloves, where’s my mask or can you pull it up,” said employee Kamia Vayne. 

Customers are sometimes impatient with food production time since Bucharest is still only doing online and call in orders, according to Vayne. 

Vidal said Bucharest Grill does not know exactly when it will be opening dine in again despite Gov. Whitmer’s clearing. 

“We just want to make sure our employees and customers feel as safe as possible,” said Vidal.

“We are taking it one step at a time and will decide as we go when dine in will be open again.” 

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