WHITTIER, Calif. – Thousands of stores and other businesses across the United States are closing their doors to customers in an attempt to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
While restaurants in many cities throughout Southern California were permitted to remain open, they were all asked to switch to takeout or delivery only.
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And because the bulk of a restaurant's profit margins do come from dine-in service, it could point to difficult weeks ahead for many small business owners.
Toast Restaurant Group, based in Whittier, was forced to cut down nearly two thirds of its staff and will be closing two of its three restaurants.
Despite the closure, employees still volunteered their time this week to help the surrounding community — serving breakfast burritos to kids dealing with school closures.
"Regardless of our situation, we made a promise to the kids, and we’re going to follow through with that promise," said kitchen manager, Quincy Savage. "There’s kids out there that are still hungry and it’s a really tough time for everyone."
The breakfast service ran Monday through Friday from 7 am to 9 am at each of their three locations. In addition to offering free meals, owners Chad Reinhardt and Cynthia Vigil, took orders for wholesale grocery products and will be providing three meals to employees facing reduced hours.
"As tough as times get, I hope things get better soon," said server, Isabel Ramirez. "I just feel bad for all the families that don’t have the access that I do. Our owners are willing to help me out."
"We are trying our hardest to be there for each other, our employees," continued regional manager, Diana Rodriguez, "and working around the clock to ensure everybody that we’re going to be there for them."
Although each of them is dealing with their own personal struggles during this time, they offered a look into how the Southern California community is coming together amidst the outbreak.
For the latest updates on COVID-19 in California visit coronavirus.gov.