Those that did it right away say, it isn't as easy as you might think.
"It's a complete pivot of your business model-to-go boxes and ramekins and these things," said Kevin Hamilton, owner of Canyon Club Brewery in Moraga. "For awhile, we only had one phone line so people couldn't get through. The staff's job is suddenly completely different. The first couple days were nightmares. We got better everyday. A week in, we are good," he said.
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Tosca in San Francisco, Vanessa's in Walnut Creek and Social Bird in Lafayette, among others, are just starting to offer this service. Hamilton encourages people to support them and worries about restaurants that aren't shifting to the new model.
"A lot places said 'We can't' and just stopped. We're not really making any money on it truthfully. I can pay eight people a night. I can give money to our vendors because they are really feeling this times 200," he said.
Hamilton and others who are trying this new model say they need your support more than ever right now. As you head into the weekend, they are asking that you consider your favorite local spot.
"Support your local person. Buy a gift card. Buy a t-shirt, a hat, to-go food. It helps," he said.
Hamilton was on his way Friday to pick up aluminum cans from another brewery that is close to closing its doors, realizing it isn't going to make it through this shut down.
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Canyon Club has had its share of trials. The brewery and restaurant cost $1.6 million to build. It opened in August, just to face power outages. Now, the business is shut down again. Just one of many stories out there in the restaurant business. Hamilton says not only do they need your support, but also tolerance.
This restaurant & brewery in Moraga cost $1.6 to build. It opened in August to deal with- power outages. And now- Covid-19. Small restaurants like this are begging that you remember them during this time. Order take out. Buy a gift card. Or even a hat. pic.twitter.com/qgIVebB5t2— Amy Hollyfield (@amyhollyfield) March 27, 2020
"Be kind, be patient. Sometimes it might take a couple of phone calls to get through and your order may be wrong. Stick with us, we will all get through it," he said, laughing.
In a sign of optimism, Canyon Club is using this time to build a new outdoor bar. Management is expecting, and hoping for, a surge of people when they are finally allowed to leave their homes.
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