WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WDTN) – According to the Ohio Restaurant Association, more than half of the state’s restaurants feel they will have to permanently close if they maintain their current operations.
Kevin McClure, owner of Holly’s Home Cooking, says on a normal summer day around 11 a.m., their stack of completed food tickets is about half an inch thick.
“I’ve got one customer in here at 10:30 and we should be full,” he said.
Holly’s Home Cooking has been a West Carrollton staple since 1993. McClure has owned it since 2008 and says since the pandemic hit, they’ve had to cut 17 employees.
“The other ten that I have, it’s day to day. I don’t know if they’re going to be here tomorrow or if we’re going to be here tomorrow. It’s just simple economics, you know,” he said.
That’s the reality for many Ohio restaurants.
The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) released a study showing 54 percent of their members feel they will have to close in the next nine months if they have to maintain operations under current COVID-19 guidelines.
The ORA president says they’re pushing for more government assistance but it’s important that the community use their dollars as support.
“They employ 585,000 of our fellow friends in this state. 585,000. The second biggest industry that’s not the government in the state,” said John Barker. “It’s important for the economic engine of Ohio”
“When they came out with mandatory masks, our night shift business fell off 50 percent. Our dayshift business dropped 25 percent,” McClure said.
The restaurant now closes at 3 p.m., losing 35 hours of business they would normally have, but McClure says they’re doing everything they can to keep their doors open.
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