The May 2020 issue of 225 is all about how restaurants have been coping with the coronavirus pandemic and its effect on their businesses. Many of them have had to let staff go, operating with only a skeleton crew on takeout orders until the ban on dining in gets lifted.
We talked to several restaurant owners about their experience and their hopes for the future. One of those is Vu “Phat” Le, co-owner of Chow Yum Phat.
“In the kitchen, you can go through a multitude of emotions all in a two-hour period,” he says. “You’re anxious, you’re nervous, you’re frustrated, you’re overwhelmed. But at the end of service, you’re overjoyed, you’re elated. You got your butt kicked, but you made it. And right now, that’s everything we’re feeling, and more. Asking ourselves if we’re going to be able to stay open, the emotions of letting staff go, and then hearing people say, ‘Thank you guys for staying open.’ But eating is an escape for people. I think that’s why everyone that still has their doors open right now is doing this.”