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Restaurants looking for guidance in ramping up business

Posted at 7:46 AM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 07:46:19-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Before the COVID-19 pandemic, things were looking up for the owner of Lake Effect Diner, Tucker Curtain. Alex Trebek read the diner's name aloud in an answer on Jeopardy!.

“We had a nice little momentum going there, but a month later, it knocked us out,” said Curtain about the virus. That knock out was felt across the global economy. For the first couple of weeks, Lake Effect Diner and The Steer, which is also owned by Curtain, attempted to rely on just take-out orders. It wasn't working. So, Curtain temporarily closed both restaurants that share a parking lot on Main Street in North Buffalo.

Recently, with signs pointing towards a re-open in Western New York, Curtain brought both restaurants back for business. Lake Effect Diner opened for take-out this past Sunday.

“Now, it's time to solve our problems and get moving. And hey, we may make mistakes, and we may not be perfect, but we have to live our lives,” said Curtain about getting business up and running again.

Curtain says his restaurants are following all social distancing rules. He's eager to know what more he can do before he’s allowed to ramp up his business.

“The government should be working with us. We want to work with them, but I don't think the government wants to work with us. Not just on what we can't do but what we can do,” added Curtain.

He says looking ahead, you may have to make a reservation to sit in the restaurant and restrooms maybe cleaned after every use. He also says his restaurants will use paper menus or the menus will be placed on monitors.

While Curtain very much knew the question on Jeopardy!, this past February, he doesn't know what's next. Until he gets further advice from the state, Curtain says he will follow AIHA guidelines to prepare his restaurants.

The National Restaurant Association is also offering these guidelines.