Restaurants Often Thrive During The Holidays, But With COVID Restrictions, It’s A Lot Tougher

Nov 25, 2020

The day before Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants. But with state guidelines encouraging people to stay home, many businesses fear they’ll just continue to lose money.

Javier Ruiz is a line cook at Little Hong Kong Chinese Cuisine on E street in Fresno’s Chinatown. The restaurant reopened with new owners in July, but according to Ruiz they’ve hardly had any customers.

“When we were open to serve indoors, families of five or six would come in and obviously that helps a lot but now we can’t have anyone,” he says. “And we don’t have outdoor dining so who knows what Thanksgiving Day will look like.”

Or the day before, he says, when many restaurants serve customers who don’t want to cook before the holiday. Plus with the state allowing and then revoking indoor dining, Ruiz says customers are confused about whether the restaurant is even open. And with Christmas around the corner, he says he expects even fewer customers in December.

“During this time small restaurants tend to suffer because people are spending on gifts so they don’t have enough to order out,”Ruiz says. “Now it’s going to be worse.”

And he says the restaurant’s location in Chinatown makes it harder.

“It’s separated from the rest of the city and there isn’t a lot of foot traffic,” he says.

Ruiz says the restaurant did more deliveries than dine-in orders before the new owners took over, but he hopes people will give the new restaurant a chance by eating at it once it’s safe to do so.  Until then he says the restaurant will stay open for delivery through the holiday season.