This past Friday and Saturday, Timbers Seafood and Steakhouse in Ludington closed after being told an employee of theirs tested positive for COVID-19.
It all turned out to be a lie.
After almost 3 months of being shut down, local restaurants need to squeeze almost every dollar they can out of the summer tourism season and for the second busiest week of the year, Timbers was shut down because an employee wanted a day off and used COVID-19 as an excuse.
“It was heartbreaking,” says David Hritco, general manager at Timbers, “I worried about my staff. I worried about, well now do I have Covid now?”
Employees at Timbers were gearing up for a packed summer weekend then it was all cancelled when the father of a busboy called in to say his son have COVID-19.
“It is such a touchy subject,” says Hritco, “We had to shut down business for the safety.”
Friday and Saturday business was wiped clean, including a wedding rehearsal dinner.
“Yes it hurt our business,” says Hritco, “It’s our second busiest weekend of the year.”
All for nothing, the so-called father was a friend and the employee never tested positive. He just wanted the days off. He got that and much more.
“He doesn’t know what he did and I feel terrible for him because this is a young kid that made a mistake,” says Hritco, “But this is now a police matter.”
His coworkers lost out on wages and tips and eachhad to be tested. The busboy finally confessed and apologized Saturday evening.
“Well, ‘sorry’ unfortunately cost us thousands of dollars worth of business,” says Hritco.
A simple lie on its face, but one with major repercussions.
“Incidents like this,” says Hritco, “Don’t do anything to reaffirm that it’s not a hoax.”