Struthers restaurant decides not to open for dine-in just yet, even when order is lifted

Coronavirus

The co-owner of Selah Restaurant said transitioning back, especially with new regulations, is not like the flip of a switch

STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – Come May 21, restaurants in Ohio will be allowed to open their dining areas. But one in Struthers is deciding to hold off for now.

Jeff Chann is one of the owners of Selah Restaurant on S. Bridge Street. For almost two months, it has continued carryout like many other restaurants.

Even though Gov. Mike DeWine will soon allow restaurants to open for dine-in, Chann thinks it’s still better for his place to offer carryout only.

“You get one week to return. To go back to inside dining is very daunting because now you have to undo what you just did,” he said.

Chann said it’s not like the flip of a switch. You have to bring back waiters, bartenders, full kitchen staff and more.

With social distancing, restaurants can’t have as many customers as before.

“All that costs money,” Chann said. “Your sales are going to be significantly lower and your cost is going to be very high.”

He’s also concerned about the safety of his employees and customers.

“When somebody comes in from the outside and sits down to have dinner, they’re going to be touching the chairs, the tables, the glassware, the linen, the plates — everything.”

Chann said they have friends who are also in the restaurant business. He’s going to get advice from them on how their business is going before deciding to reopen.

As of now, Selah’s carryout service is doing the job.

“We’re doing pretty good,” Chann said. “Good enough where we’re not adding any debt, meaning, we’re paying every bill on time.”

He did say they will have to raise the price of some things by a couple of dollars because of the meat shortage.

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