Peter Richter returned to his Atlanta Bread Company franchise in Northglenn March 17 a little tired and little worried. He closed his restaurant a day earlier to sit down service and that’s was the …
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Peter Richter returned to his Atlanta Bread Company franchise in Northglenn March 17 a little tired and little worried.
He closed his restaurant a day earlier to sit down service and that’s was the bulk of the store’s income.
He’s making due with takeouts and deliveries right now, he said.
“But we’re not doing catering, and that was another 20 percent of our business,” he said. “We had some meetings scheduled to cater, but they canceled. Nobody’s doing meetings any more.”
Richter had closed his dining room the day before the official notice from the State Department of Public Health and Environment required all restaurants, gyms, theaters and casinos to follow suit in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Later in the week, many non-grocery related stores had followed suit.
It led for a boom in deliveries, both through local restaurants and through delivery services like Doordash and Grubhub.
Driver Kimberlee Polhamus said she’s been a driver for multiple services, including UberEats, Doordash and Grubhub, for more than a year. It was a supplemental job before, providing a little extra cash before fears of the virus began closing everything down.
“They’ve been keeping us busy,” she said. “I was a waitress at a Polish restaurant in Westminster. And then all this happened.”
Polhamus said she makes her own schedule but works at least four hours daily making between two or three deliveries per hour.
“That depend on how far out they are, how far they are from each other,” she said.
It’s much busier for her, she said.
“I have people that want hands free deliveries — there’s a selection they can make on the app,” she said. “They pay online, I call them when I get there and I leave the food outside for them.”
Richter said he’s limited staff time in his restaurant so everyone can keep some hours and he can keep costs down a bit.
“We don’t have a drive-through because most of our business has been inside dining,” Richter said. “We are going to take a hit, and it’s going to be tough.”
Richter said he uses every delivery service that’s available and makes some himself.
“I expect that to to really spike when this all started and it really didn’t,” he said. “It’s stayed about the same and in fact, I think it’s dropped off. People are just flat scared.”
The restaurant didn’t have a curb service spot before COVID-19, even though it’s a service offered on the Atlanta Bread Company corporate website and app. But Richter said he’s created one so customers can call the store and have the staff bring their meals to their car.
“I’ve been in fast food for 20 years, and 70 percent of their business is from the drive through and we don’t have one,” he said. “We have not gotten any curbside orders yet, but it’s another thing we’re trying to do.”
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