Restaurants fight to stay open among closures

Restaurants turn to congress for help among closures
Published: Dec. 7, 2020 at 10:43 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - As restaurants across the country get through the pandemic, they are turning to Congress for more help. The Restaurant Association is pleading for a second and improved paycheck protection program with some simple things like allowing them to deduct ordinary expenses.

In Omaha, many local favorites are fighting to keep employees working.

“We’ve had to cut her hours a little bit. On the weekdays we’ve been closing down at nine so that an hour and it adds up,” cook Justine Buhl said.

Buhl is a 16 year veteran cook and said it’s the people in the kitchen who have kept him motivated even after nearly 80% of the staff was temporarily let go earlier this year.

“During the week it’s been pretty bad like it’s probably not even half of what we usually have which isn’t good right now,” Buhl said.

Even with the weight of this year there’s some comfort in knowing they’re providing a service to people.

“Yeah it’s a lot of stress sometimes but you get back into the motion,” waiter Jaylen Epting said.

Epting works at Quick Bites Soul Food in Bellevue and never expected the pandemic to impact his dad’s restaurant to this magnitude.

“And then I start to understand oh it’s really growing well and I was just trying to keep things as clean as possible,” Epting said.

Business picked up for a while but with the holidays here fewer people are dining out. For now he’s focused on bringing the lessons this year has taught into what looks like a hopeful next year.

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