By Miranda Stroble Edgar Torres, owner of Red Chimney along with his wife Jill, recently made a shift from selling brisket to selling beans and lasagna as takeout. Restaurants are among the essential businesses that are permitted to remain open during the pandemic brought on by COVID-19, but those that had dining service are now having to make substantial changes to continue to sustain their businesses. The restaurants are developing creative solutions to provide food service to the community.
With Red Chimney closing its dining room, they have had to make changes to their staff. The restaurant is able to maintain their full kitchen staff, but the serving staff has had to move to working shifts with carryout. Torres did share, “Unfortunately, some of the staff has had to go on unemployment.” When asked what the restaurant is doing to support their employees Torres shared, “We are doing what we can to help, mostly helping with needs like food.” It is difficult for businesses that had a substantial part or nearly the entirety of their business halted with the closing of their dining rooms, and local restaurants are having to confront the harsh reality of having servers on their staff with no customers to serve. Torres and his staff are having to face an unprecedented challenge: sustain the business while only being allowed to sell food through carryout and delivery. Torres and his team have come up with some creative solutions, and in turn those solutions are providing a necessary service for their customers. In addition to their full menu being available for carryout ordering, “Many of our customers have purchased trays or packages of food that they are taking home and freezing,” Torres added. This helps customers to more aptly follow the restrictions of staying in their homes since they will not need to leave to get food as frequently, and the business is still getting the support. Additionally, the restaurant is selling take and bake dishes, such as lasagna, and their raw beans and rice. The beans and rice are being sold at a pricing that matches the cost of the goods in the grocery stores in an effort to help fill the need from the empty shelves. “We are taking extra measures to keep things clean, which is very normal for us during flu season. We are cleaning the counters more and sanitizing the phones and such,” Torres added. There is still plenty of opportunity for the people of Carlsbad to enjoy food from Red Chimney, while also taking care of their need to feed themselves and their families during this time of isolation. It is evident from the changes that the business has made that the owners and team at Red Chimney truly care about helping make sure the community of Carlsbad is well fed, and it is that care and passion for the people of this community that will get them through this trying time. “If we will all practice the recommendations from our governor and our president then we should come out of this okay, and stronger.” Torres also stated, “We are grateful to have customers that are continuing to support Red Chimney. Also, the other restaurants are sticking together and supporting each other.”
Please remember at times as trying as these to thank those that are continuing to work to provide essential services to the community, and please do what you can to support local businesses. Editor’s Note: The Carlsbad Local will be featuring local residents and what they are doing to survive the Cornavirus outbreak. Please email story ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org