Local Restaurants React to Gov. Whitmer’s Request to Voluntarily Shut Down Indoor Dining for Two Weeks

Local restaurants are responding to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s urge to voluntarily shut down indoor dining for the next two weeks.

“It’s going to be a hard decision to decide what route to go,” says Jodie Stockman, owner of MJ’s Eatery in Houghton Lake.

Stockman says this year has been a rollercoaster for the restaurant industry:

“You’ve built up this dream of our business and being told that you can’t operate, like what is tomorrow going to bring?”

Stockman says Gov. Whitmer’s request to close their dining room for the next two weeks puts them in a tough spot.

“I think it’s going to be a very hard decision, but I feel like a lot of places are just now getting back open, and after those couple months of either being shut down or just takeout,” says Stockman.

Lake City Family Diner says it would be a risk to close their doors once again.

Manager and owner Amy Hannah says, “I learned last time she shut us down that take out just doesn’t work for me. My overhead is just way too high, to run my grill and possibly get five or six take-out orders in a day, just doesn’t pay the bills.”

Hannah says if they do shut down, one of her fears is potentially losing employees to other restaurants.

“It’s just a very uncertain time with everything so if some of us voluntarily shut down, you do take a big risk of losing what good employees you have because employees are very hard to come by right now,” says Hannah.

For now, both restaurants will continue serving guests at the table.

Stockman says, “I’m ready for some kind of normalcy or even some security that we’re not going to keep getting shut down.”

Categories: Coronavirus