Restaurants Hit Hard by Lockdowns


Nathan Adamik, Staff writer

As the pandemic continues, so do the government-imposed lockdowns and social-distancing protocols that are having a negative impact on local economies around the world.

Since early in 2020, when a new strain of coronavirus that causes COVID-19 spread from Wuhan, China, the deadly virus has now spread throughout the world and is responsible for the deaths of more than a million people. 

In response, most governments have attempted to demonstrate their commitment to slowing the spread by demanding strict adherence, under penalty of fine or imprisonment, to new business rules that either slow business or completely shut it down. 

For example, In Bossier City, Louisiana Restaurant Ralph & Kacoo’s on the topic of refusing people because they don’t have a mask says “they will provide customers a mask, if needed.” as well as “We’re a little bit more tolerant of that because we need the money.” Others are turning away unmasked customers, all while just about every business that remains open has to limit the number of customers that they can have at one time.

Fewer customers mean less income for business owners, at the same time the lockdowns have increased their operating costs. According to research firm Mckinsey and company, most small businesses that sell food, for example, only break even and “the added cost of complying with new hygiene and safety protocols could be onerous” The restaurant industry has been particularly hit hard, with 3 percent of restaurant operators going out of business, according to the National Restaurant Association. 

A more local example is ““We’re just taking it one day at a time,” Eric Rausel (manager of Sebastian’s Mediterranean Cuisine) said of the difficulties small businesses are going through with the coronavirus restrictions,” according to Daily Breeze reporter Donna Littlejohn in an interview with a San Pedro restaurant owner, published July 23rd, 2020

The temporary outdoor seating at Sebastian’s in San Pedro

After surveying 11 local San Pedro residents, most say they order more take out than they dine in. This is the kind of consumer behavior that has led to the loss of jobs during the pandemic among service professionals, like waiters and waitresses.