By Juli McDonald

BOSTON (CBS) – Coronavirus concerns are already taking a bite out of business at local restaurants. WBZ visited some of the many places going above and beyond to make their patrons feel clean, comfortable and safe.

“You don’t realize how fragile it is, how it works, until something like this happens. This week particularly has been pretty intense,” said Tara O’Riordan of Ashmont Grill in Dorchester.

A slow lunch, turned slow Monday, stretched into a whole sluggish week. As the crowds stock up to stay home, restaurants are left eagerly watching the door.

“We are definitely feeling the impact. Ashmont Grill like many businesses we run tight profit margins. It’s going to be interesting to see how long we can survive in this new environment,” she added.

Tara O’Riordan of Ashmont Grill in Dorchester (WBZ-TV)

So they’re stepping up big time. The kitchens and dining rooms are sparkling clean.

“We’re diligently cleaning tables chairs handles. Everything in the building,” O’Riordan added.

And they’re finding more ways to feed people – dining in or out.

“We’ll do a call ahead, we’ll bring it to the door you come in and grab it. If someone is afraid and they don’t want to come out to eat, we still want to feed you. We still want to work!” said Paul Turano of Cook Needham.

Social distancing aims to bring some peace of mind; parties are seated with some space from others.

“This is a different time and we have to adjust. The faster we adjust the faster we can get this under control,” Turano said.

“After all, you go to restaurants to meet people and build community and feel good about life. We want to try and keep that going,” said O’Riordan.

Remember, restaurant workers want to protect themselves as much as you do. They’re being careful. Call the establishments you trust and normally visit, to see what additional measures they’re taking to protect patrons.

Juli McDonald


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