Special Report

What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus and America’s Restaurants

Source: Cherry Z. via Yelp

Seafood Palace
> Location: Monterey Park, California

Affected, like so many Chinese restaurants, by the business downturn resulting from the coronavirus panic, this Cantonese/Chaozhou (or Chiu Chow) establishment — a favorite of the late Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold — closed permanently the week of Mar. 3.

Source: nycshooter / Getty Images

Shake Shack
> Location: Nationwide

Founded by Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (see below) but now a public company, Shake Shack units are not closing at this time, unlike USHG properties, except where mandated by state governments. However, they have introduced numerous measures to help stave off viral contamination. Surfaces are disinfected throughout the day; sanitizing wipes and sanitizer dispensers are available for customers as well as staff; all self-serve items, including condiments and utensils, are now handed out on request; and all to-go and delivery orders are being placed in fully sealed containers.

Source: Courtesy of Sichuan Impression

Sichuan Impression
> Location: Southern California

This small Southern California Chinese restaurant chain, with units in Tustin, Alhambra, and West Los Angeles, has begun taking the temperature of potential customers with infrared thermometers before they enter. Those who refuse to submit are encouraged to order takeout and given a 5% discount if they do. It also offers free delivery “for a limited time” to customers within five miles of its Tustin location. The West Los Angeles unit can operate with delivery and takeout only, due to a Los Angeles city ruling.

Source: Courtesy of Skyline Tavern

Skyline Tavern
> Location: Portland, Oregon

In a statement announcing that they are closing until further notice, the restaurant writes that it will offer alternative work opportunities to its employees while it’s shut down. In addition, “We’re distributing perishable food items to staff, friends, and family to decrease waste and taking this time to clean our space, facilities, and property.”

> Location: Nationwide

Starbucks shuttered its Seattle Reserve store for three days after an employee there tested positive for the virus. The store was deep-cleaned, and any employee who had worked with the affected person was sent home to self-quarantine for 14 days (they are being paid for their scheduled shifts during that period).

Chainwide, Starbucks has also released guidelines revising store cleaning policies. The chain paused the use of personal coffee cups, done away with self-serve condiments like sugar and creamer, and restricted business travel by management. Starbucks is also considering limiting seating or closing in-store seating and keeping only drive-thrus open, but CEO Kevin Johnson told Nation’s Restaurant News that complete store closures would be “a last resort” and that “store disruption” would be only temporary.