ESSEX JUNCTION, Vt. (WCAX) One week after Gov. Phil Scott issued his stay-at-home order, restaurants that stayed open are struggling to stay afloat.
The order issued last Tuesday mandated that all nonessential businesses temporarily shut down, but it did allow restaurants to stay open as long as they limited service to curbside pickup and delivery.
Jules On The Green in Essex is adapting to the changes laid out in the order. They have been offering curbside pickup to all customers and delivery to elderly people only.
Owner Silvio Mazzella says the adjustment period has been rough and the business has taken a major hit to its money, customer base and staff.
“It's devastating. It really is,” Mazzella said.
Mazzella says in the past few weeks, Jules lost 75 percent of its customer base, as well as tens of thousands of dollars.
“It hurts immediately and it was just as if I closed the doors overnight,” he said.
Mazzella also says he had to let 20 servers and hosts go. There are nine staff members currently working at the restaurant.
It’s the same situation at Monarch and the Milkweed in Burlington. The co-owners, Will Fleming and Andrew LaSturgeon, say between 20 and 30 people were laid off. The only staffers employed are the ones helping create their cannabis products.
“Although we're here, it just feels empty and it is quite literally empty. As of now, Monarch and the Milkweed restaurant and bar is on pause, unfortunately,” said Fleming.
Next door, American Flatbread is on day four of to-go sales. General manager Chelsea Walsh says a lot has changed. Sales have dropped and they’re down to 10 staff members from the usual 65.
Despite this new normal, Walsh says they plan to do what they can to make sure the community is fed.
“Things like this happen, we need to adapt and adjust and if we can provide food for a single person or a family to sit around the table with some fresh ingredients that they might not be able to go to the store to get, then we're happy to do that,” she said.
WCAX News also reached out to the Vermont Chamber of Commerce to find out what they're doing to help struggling businesses.
According to their website, they've set up a hotline that businesses can call to be directed to resources. That number is 802-461-5143.