Restaurant owners say that they simply cannot afford to keep their staff while customers remain inside their homes to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Derek Shields and his wife Emily Kugelman are two of thousands of New Jerseyans who once had good jobs working at restaurants and bars, but have since been laid off. Shields was a cook at Blend on Main in Manasquan and Kugelman was a cook at the Beacon Hill Country Club.
Blend on Main owner and chef Lou Smith spoke to News 12 New Jersey from an empty dining room while waiting on phone orders. Under the orders of Gov. Phil Murphy, restaurants may only offer takeout or delivery service.
Smith says that he is trying to give back to the community while the crisis is ongoing.
“We are trying to get into senior centers,” Smith says.