Local Issue Article… Will The Catering Business Ever Return To Normal After Covid Strike?
( Include at least three quoted sources (people interviewed) and at least one data point.List at least four kinds of people who can provide you information on your topic.List at least three data points that could help tell the story, and where to go to find them.)
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Thursday I talked with the owners of two catering companies who say their industry is now in trouble. Mohammad runs Nawab Ball Room in Yonkers Westchester County, and handles large events with the help of his team such as Weddings, Sweet Sixteens, Religious Events and much more just to name a few. On top of the catering Hall he also manages an Indian Restaurant, that is connected to the Catering Hall Business. Sir Mohammad has been in business for over 20 Years, and says his last normal event was in 2019. “January and February are usually slower months and in March, when things were starting pick-up again, COVID-19 crippled the catering industry.” He says his business is down roughly about 85 percent, however all of his expenses are the same. Just like him many other Catering Halls in NYC were forced to furlough dozens of employees, while still having to dish out money for bills. Luckily he has his restaurant business to fall back on, which brings in more money then the Ballroom as of now. Still their are restaurant regulations to follow such as, the change of the restaurant and bar layouts to ensure that all customer parties remain at least 6 feet apart, and limiting seating capacity to allow for social distancing. Offering drive through, curbside takeout, or delivery options as applicable. From March 17th 2020 when the pandemic first hit, until around February 2021, zero dollars in sales were made in either of his businesses, which has made things a struggle and nerve wracking. Mohammad says 2021 isn’t looking good either, so far they only have a couple of events booked from now until the end of the year going into 2022. He is expecting it will be 2022 before they fully recover from the loss of the year. With COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, this is just one of the many struggling stories of survival in the catering industry, hoping for some financial relief soon. In New Jersey over 300 Grants were given out to caterers in the state.
Employee Kendall Lynne – “In the restaurant their are a lot of COVID Guidelines you have to follow. There’s nothing really you can do to protect from that because it’s like you can’t drop off food from like 10 feet away you know? It’s a very risky job to have right now.”“It’s a very big difference in lifestyle changes that you have to adopt to as well, because your like will I have enough money for food, not for rent?”In March 20 the Care Act allocated three hundred and forty nine billion dollars towards PPP loans.
Owner Mohammad- The PPP was great it really did help us. We used it to redo our patio, so there’s places to sit outside when that came about.Manger Conner Mack – It was clear to us that we were eligible for one of those loans. No one at the time knew where that would go, so we quickly applied. We were able to do it and in our minds was- sweet we’re going to keep as many people employed as possible, as soon as we received the money it became very clear those following days that the people it was meant for weren’t getting it.Employee Kendall Lynne- I would at least make anywhere from eight thousand to fourteen hundred a week with the job that I currently have where I’m making seven dollars an hour plus tip, I make since nobody comes in like forty dollars a day and I work four days a week. So a hundred and sixty dollars a week.
Manager Conner Mack – We saw percentage go down because were no longer entertaining super fun groups. It’s like of your going to get up to go to the rest room, you have to put your mask on. So we became these sort of like harbingers of doom. We worked with Door Dash and Uber Eats.This isn’t a happy story. Americans working Paycheck to paycheck to make ends meat are being forced into harms way in order to survive. But maybe this story isn’t necessarily how COVID almost killed the restaurant industry, rather how American workers couldn’t afford to let it dye.
Customer Dana De Leon-Dana de Leon, a local resident of Yonkers who held a Baby Shower in a local catering hall for her sister May earlier this year, explains her thoughts and challenges she faced, along with her family.Being of Hispanic descent our culture is not used to being apart from the each other, we’re i into hugging and sharing beautiful moments together, and just celebrating being together. So this was a major challenge for us. I’m just looking into what we’re going to do moving forward, and how we are going to create the scene with social distancing. Even with most of us being vaccinated it’s kind of still in the back of our heads, the chances of still becoming infected.
List at least four kinds of people who can provide you information on your topic. List at least three data points that could help tell the story, and where to go to find them
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