LOS ANGELES — The current omicron variant surge has forced some restaurants to close their doors or to revert to takeout-only service temporarily. The owner of the world-famous Jitlada, Jazz Singsanong, decided to end indoor dining until the COVID-19 cases go down.
“What are we going to do with life, with COVID coming again? We just feel like [we had] a normal couple of months only and then you have to deal with this,” Singsanong said.
Luckily, Singsanong has a large customer base with people coming in nonstop for their orders, but they will still lose money without dining.
“Money you can find, but the health is more important. If someone gets sick and gives it to others, you have to close anyway because you don’t have employees,” Singsanong said.
She has heard of many restaurants closing fully for weeks due to COVID outbreaks after holiday parties. She doesn’t want to be put in that position, especially since her space is small.
“For my customers, for yourself, if anyone catches it in here, shoulder to shoulder, sit down eating and spread the germs,” she said.
While local officials have not mandated any shutdowns, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said that any business with three or more confirmed cases must inform health officials but do not need to share publicly. According to Eater LA, a local food news site, only a handful have posted about closures due to an outbreak on social media.
After a difficult two years and with no new funding on the horizon, Singsanong is nervous to see if restaurants can survive this wave.
“I don’t believe I survived the past two years. After my brother died, it’s so hard. But I learned everything and I serve everything for good quality of the food. When you are honest to the customer, God up there sees you,” Singsanong said.
So she is holding on to hope that she can return to indoor dining soon and that this cycle of ups and downs comes to an end.