Facing COVID-19 as a Restaurant

Nora Toscano, Entertainment Editor

COVID-19 was a troubling time for everyone, especially businesses and restaurants. Restaurants function because of foot-traffic and in-person customers, so a period of time during which people couldn’t leave their houses hurt them tremendously.  An interview with the owner of Wantagh’s very own Bunker Hill, Rob Beck, helped to shine some light on the subject.

When asked about the challenges Bunker Hill faced at the peak of quarantine, Beck discussed how they were shut down for two months, and then when they finally got to reopen, were only permitted to offer takeout. Beck said, “We weren’t able to do as much business as we were used to.”  Changes had to be made when Bunker was able to have in-person customers in the later part of quarantine: they couldn’t use all of their tables, the staff had to wear masks, and they needed to put up dividers. 

Many restaurants are facing these challenges, and are forced to deal with the repercussions that abiding by COVID-19 guidelines have on a business. Beck explained that when following COVID-19 protocol, the restaurant could only be at 50% capacity. Also, only limited people were allowed at the bar, and those who were at the bar had to sit.  

When asked how Bunker Hill supported frontline workers during COVID, Beck described how Bunker offered discounts to all frontline workers, and that it was mostly nurses who came in. 

Many of our local restaurants and businesses have been struggling greatly through this time. As a community, we need to make sure we are supporting them in any way possible to make sure they are able to stay open. Beck suggests going out and choosing local businesses over big-name ones. Beck said, “Not just restaurants. Any smaller businesses.”  

COVID-19 has affected everyone harshly in different ways. It is extremely important to come together as a town to make sure none of us are left behind.