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Business at Eckville restaurant dropping during outbreak

Take out and drive-thru still available at The Boxcar Grill complacent with government guidelines
Photo Courtesy of The Boxcar Grill’s Facebook page

A local restaurant has embraced and adapted to the government’s regulations to try and combat the spread of COVID-19.

The Boxcar Grill has made the switch to take out and drive-thru only as all dine-in services are prohibited throughout the province.

“We are doing our best to keep everything sanitized, everything, every step we do we watch out for it,” said Said Nasr, owner of The Boxcar Grill in a phone interview.

For drive-thru orders the food is handed through the window then the debit machine or cash is cleaned with bleach and water after each customer.

In terms of customers who walk in the to get their food to go there is a four metre distance between them and the employees. The food is placed on the counter and the debit machine is sanitized.

“We care about our safety and everyone else’s safety around here,” Nasr said, “if we were to notice anyone that has any symptoms or any kind of sickness we would definitely close the doors right away.”

He added so far his staff have been healthy, washing their hands, taking care of themselves, and only travelling between the restaurant and their homes.

Business at the restaurant has dropped in the past month, about 50 to 60 per cent, according to Nasr.

Nasr says he had to cut down on staff to maintain the budget and get by.

“I cut hours and I am personally working here,” said Nasr. “I’m not going to be taking a wage, I’m just going to keep plugging away to keep the business surviving.”

There are also two employees in the kitchen who rotate shifts working one at a time.

April will be a deciding month in determining how long the restaurant can survive, according to Nasr, adding the “not so extreme” rent in Eckville helps.