Keeping up with COVID

Big Rapids restaurants ensure safety for customers and staff

As COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on businesses, Big Rapids restaurants are looking to ensure the safety of not only customers but employees.

The township of Big Rapids is home to many different styles of cuisine, from fast food to family owned restaurants. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many of these restaurants are embracing the challenge and doing the most they can for customers.

“Any contact points such as salts/peppers, ketchup, etc. have been removed from tables and are available in take-out packaging by request only,” said Rachel Carrick, a server at Buffalo Wild Wings. “Menus are available for one-time-use paper or by QR codes placed on the tables.”

Businesses all over Big Rapids have had to make changes in order to accommodate customers and to ensure everything is in order and set up correctly.

Though COVID-19 took its toll, many Big Rapids businesses have been able to get back on their feet in some way and many have even found success despite the new guidelines.

Many businesses have been able to adapt to the new lifestyles this virus has thrown at them. More options for delivery and take out have become a trend in the Big Rapids area.

“In my opinion, we’ve been busier since COVID,” said Mallory Ludwig, a delivery driver for Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop. “More people going through drive thru and deliveries mostly.”

There are many big changes restaurants have had to make in order to continuing serving during the pandemic.

Sit-down restaurants have had to change capacity sizes as well as mark or move tables in order to keep a safe distance between customers.

Masks are required to be worn when walking in and going to your table but once you are seated masks can be taken off. Once a customer gets up from their table, though, the mask must be put back on.

Other restaurants have decided to eliminate indoor seating entirely, at least for the time being.

“Our lobby is currently closed so we only accept customers through drive through,” said Destiny Patrolia, a shift manager at KFC/Long John Silvers.

“Our employees also are required to wear masks, cashiers wear gloves, and we have implemented several non-contact procedures to making and handling them out food and drinks.”

The new safety procedures have led to more businesses being able to remain open with certain restrictions.

“Allowing restaurants to be open with strict safety precautions has helped out small businesses in the state of Michigan since they are allowed to still operate, while maintaining proper standards for COVID-19 to keep the public safe,” said Destiny Patrolia.

Now that Michigan is beginning to open back up, businesses are looking to find stability and comfort with these new ways of operating.