It’s been three weeks since the reopening of restaurants in South Florida, many are slowly recovering from the loss of revenue including a new restaurant called C Food Shack in Miami Beach. They were supposed to open in March, but then COVID-19 pushed back their opening date.
"It went from exciting to scary to woah to we don’t know,” said Chef Laron Culmer.
Chef Laron Culmer is owner of C Food Shack.
He signed a lease for his new restaurant space just two weeks before the shutdown of the state due to COVID-19.
“All the down payments, insurance, paintings and everything was put in. Then everything got put on hold,” added Culmer.
Bills like insurance payments were piling up.
“We were paying insurance for the last four months on a business that wasn’t even open with no income coming in. So those funds had to come from the start up fund,” said Culmer.
To make ends meet and continue to pursue his dream, first thing Laron did was call his landlord. A tip he recommends to every business owner who’s struggling to pay rent.
“When I called crying to the landlord, she was like Laron I’ve never experienced this as well. It was new for them too. So they treated it like it’s something we’re all dealing with,” said Culmer.
Laron says budgeting is of course, super important.
The last tips come from previous restaurant owner and Director of Operations at Lincoln Eatery, Alan Roth.
If you’re a current business owner, Roth says take the current situation as an opportunity.
“Take this moment and really appreciate each customer you have. It’s one of things we’re trying to do here at the food hall. If somebody comes in, give them so much more attention. Remember people are going out of their way to come and support you,” said Roth.
Grab people’s attention and once you bring in a customer, create that special connection.
“For a new tenant like C Food Shack, whether it’s from social media or walking the streets of Miami Beach, invite and talk to people. Then when they’re here, give them great hospitality,” added Roth.
So here's the rebound rundown. Always communicate with your landlord, create a budget and take the current situation as an opportunity by trying to grab the attention new customers and once you do, give them great hospitality.