Restaurant easing back in after COVID setbacks in March

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The restaurant industry took a huge hit when everything was shut down back in March.

The Arkansas Hospitality Association released a survey that shows restaurants that haven’t closed permanently, 88 percent say they have laid off or furloughed employees in March.

Does Eat Place in downtown Little Rock was no exception, they furloughed all their employees in March. Now, two and a half months later, everyone is back but it hasn’t been a walk in the park.

“It was kind of scary but I always say, God makes a way,” said David Brown, Chef, “Is there ever going to be an end to this? Are they going to have a vaccine?”

David Brown has been the chef at Doe’s for 32 years, basically since they’ve been open.

Brown was furloughed in March along with the rest of the team and what they thought was going to be a two-week break turned into more than two months.

“The night before I was supposed to come back, I could not sleep because I was more excited to come back to work,” said Brown.

“I was numb, I sat there day after day, I lost track of what day it was,” said Catherine Eldridge, Owner of Doe’s Eat Place.

Catherine Eldridge, the owner of Doe’s said when they did finally open, they had another set back.

Protesters swarming the state capitol just blocks away forced Doe’s to close their doors again, this time for a few days.

“Things were tight, people were scared, I mean we were all scared of how long this was going to last,” said Eldridge.

Now Doe’s is back open with their regular times and hope to stay that way.

“It’s back to normal, I’m feeling good, just really feeling grateful,” said Brown.

Right now, Doe’s is only open to about 33% capacity and plan to stay that way for now.

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