Coronavirus Impact: Social distancing for COVID-19 leads to empty San Jose businesses

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Monday, March 16, 2020
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San Jose businesses are feeling the impact of the social distancing amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This morning, the staff outnumbered the customers inside Flames restaurant in San Jose.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- This morning, the staff outnumbered the customers inside Flames restaurant in San Jose.

"There were six of us on the floor yesterday and a lot of us made pretty much nothing," said Flames server Nani Bandalan.

"They're dinning and leaving, dinning and leaving and just not dropping a tip."

The Fourth Street business is already cutting shifts for wait staff and beginning to stagger start time to adjust to the new normal, which includes plenty of personal space for customers.

"We space everybody out. If you're sitting in a booth we space you out. If you do sit at the bar we space you according to one chair away from each other," said Bandalan.

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She mentioned that friends and loved ones are allowed to sit together if they chose.

The restaurant is following Governor Newsom's request to spread out in restaurants and eateries. On Sunday the governor asked that all bars, nightclubs, wineries, brewpubs and others to close within the state.

Customers are staying home and taking advantage of meal delivery options.

"I had $300 in Door Dash orders yesterday. Grubhub I probably had $50," she said.

A few blocks away business at City Bagel is also quiet with more companies telling employees to stay home.

RELATED: Coronavirus pandemic: SF's Union Square a 'ghost town' as shoppers stay home, stores announce closures

Owner Kim Tang said she is beginning to see the trickle down effect.

"If their company is still open they still come," said Tang. "But if the company is not open I don't think the employees are going to come."

She's thankful some of her regulars have still been stopping by.

"Kim is one of the hardest working people that I've ever met so we have to make sure Kim and others take care of her family and take care of San Jose," said San Jose resident Michael Van Every.

Tang only has a few employees so she's hoping her ability to keep cost low will help her survive the coronavirus slump in the week's ahead.

RELATED: Coronavirus: Newsom calls for all Calif. seniors to self-isolate, all bars to close amid COVID-19 outbreak

But she's rather see you in person now.

"City Bagel will be here for you guys, just come in whenever you get hungry!" said Tang.

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