HeraldNet.com: Snohomish County restaurants struggle to adapt to shutdown
Published: 30 Mar 2020
Snohomish County restaurant owners have faced one challenge after another during the coronavirus shutdown.
Gov. Jay Inslee restricted bars and restaurants to takeout, drive-thru and delivery services to slow the spread of COVID-19. Sit-down dining is prohibited through at least April 6, following Inslee’s stay-at-home order Monday.
Adapting to the restrictions was easy enough for Chad Manivanh, owner of Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in Everett. His drive-thru, along with partnerships with Uber Eats and DoorDash, made the transition relatively seamless. He also offers curbside pickup and contact-less delivery.
But the quickly changing nature of the crisis hasn’t given him enough time to consider whether third-party delivery is worth the cost. Manivanh, of Lynnwood, said the online ordering platforms’ fees are eating up his profits.
“At the end of the week, we’ll analyze the data to see if it’s worth continuing or if it would be better to shut our doors,” Manivanh said. “Just by having third-party delivery, it’s not enough to cover our costs.”
Manivanh said Dickey’s has lost customers who work at Boeing, 5 miles to the north. In an attempt to compensate, Dickey’s has cut some menu prices — the pulled pork sandwich, formerly $6.95, is now $3. Also, kids eat free on Sunday.
He said the only thing keeping them in business is the community’s support.
“That has been a blessing for us,” he said. “They want to see us stay open.”