The ongoing pandemic has curtailed how restaurants in British Columbia can operate leaving owners to rethink their business strategy.
“We’re doing curbside pick up right now,” said Chris Roper, owner of Fat Cow and Oyster Bar in Langley (20178 96th Ave).
He’s one of many local eateries that have had to adjust to a new temporary reality.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Friday (March 21) that all restaurant owners provincewide would have to close their doors to dine-in guests and instead operate only through takeout or delivery services.
“It’s been tough. It’s been hope, it’s been tears – literally everything,” Roper said.
The move has had a significant impact on Roper’s business who says sales are down 66 per cent compared to what the restaurant would typically do on in average week.
“We don’t really know how to feel, we’re just trying to keep up,” he said. “We’ve laid off all our staff right, expect for two.”
But amidst the challenges Roper is still finding a way to help seniors in the community.
“We’re doing a seniors program right now, so we’re cooking meals for seniors everyday and delivering them and we’re covering the cost of that,” he said.
And his efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, many of sent thank-you cards.
“We obviously have a limit,” Roper noted. “Our sales have to keep up for us to be able to keep providing that service, we can only do so much, but the response has been really good.”
The current economic climate also led the proprietor to get creative. Roper is launching an online grocery store, Fat Cow Essentials.
“We’re using our wholesale resources to be able to buy those items,” he explained.
Many local eateries are still operating through takeout and delivery services. It is recommended customers contact a business directly to learn more.