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Local businesses taking measures to keep customers safe

Posted: 9:43 PM, Mar 24, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-24 23:43:06-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Many businesses are trying to reinvent themselves to survive the COVID-19 outbreak.

The co-owners of Bewilder Brewing downtown are hoping takeout and delivery orders can help them keep their doors open.

“We are doing 80 percent less than what we have done before,” said Cody McKendrick, one of the co-owners of the restaurant and brewery that opened last December. “Pretty much everything we have is leveraged to get this going, so this couldn’t come at a worse time for us.”

The three-month-old business was starting to pick up steam before dine-in options were shut down by government authorities to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are pretty brand new, just trying to get our feet underneath us,” McKendrick said. “Hopefully we can do enough business. That way we can keep the lights on.”

While some may have concerns about ordering food during this time of social distancing, McKendrick touts the safety of to-go orders.

“In a place like this and a lot of the take-out places around town, they are really doubling down their efforts for sanitation,” he said. “Supporting these local businesses gives them the opportunity to weather the storm and gives you a safe alternative.”

The Salt Lake County Health Department echoed that statement about the safety of take out.

“The COVID-19 virus does not seem to be food borne,” said Jeffrey Oaks, Food Protection Bureau Manager. “If it were on a package, the likeliness of contracting it from that is lower than if you were sneezed upon or if someone coughed in your face.”

Oaks advises customers to remove food from any packaging before eating and then washing hands.

Restaurants like Bewilder Brewing aren’t the only businesses taking measures to assure the safety of customers.

Harmons grocery stores have installed see-through barriers at every check out station to separate customers from employees. This was designed to keep the store running smoothly and protect its workers on the front lines.

“We can’t help customers if our employees aren’t healthy and well,” said Lyndee Nance, the vice president of marketing for Harmons.

The Utah-based chain is also taking additional measures to prevent the spread of germs among its customers.

“Making sure we sanitize carts in between use, so anytime you come to the store and pick up a shopping cart, that will be completely sanitized,” Nance described.

Many businesses are learning as they go and working as quickly as possible to provide the safest service to their customers.

It’s an effort they hope will reassure the public and help everyone get through this unexpected storm together.