Coronavirus Impact: South Florida Restaurants Facing New Normal

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – On this first full day of restaurant dining rooms being closed, owners, chefs and restaurateurs are scrambling to figure out this ‘new normal’ for themselves and for their employees.

“At the end of the day, we decided that closing down was not an option. There’s a whole trickle-down economy with restaurants of vendors for break and fish and meat that if we aren’t serving customers they are not getting paid either,” said Meyer.

Beginning Thursday at noon they will offer delivery as well take out served through this window.

Chef Niven Patel’s Ghee Indian Kitchen has two locations, here in Downtown Dadeland and in midtown Miami. We featured the restaurant back in 2017 in my Taste of the Town segment. Today he’s offering the fresh harvest from his farm in Homestead outside his restaurant and doing everything he can to say afloat.

“We had to lay off 53 employees it’s been a really rough week. In the kitchen today is my father in law and my mom and a few of the team that just didn’t want to be home,” said Patel.

And with that tight team, Patel is offering take and delivery from both locations.

“We are going to do take out from 4 – 8 pm daily we are Uber Eats and Postmates also, take it day by day,” he said.

Food services are also evolving in this new environment, DeliverLean, one of the nation’s largest food manufacturers, has partnered with Miami-Dade County to provide meals for at-risk seniors during this pandemic. Scott Harris is the CEO. Harris states these “meals are healthy options that we offer to the elderly who are in assisted living.”

Clearly change is the one constant as the food industry navigates this uncharted territory.

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