Ethan Qualle | Staff Writer
“Business has been good,” Jean Phillipe Reis, the owner of the downtown Melbourne restaurant The Burger Place, said.
Reis is one of many Florida restaurant owners who have navigated through phases of reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With restaurants and other businesses currently in phase three, establishments like The Burger Place are permitted to operate at full capacity. Face covering mandates appear in many business entrances.
Reis added that he only requires his employees to wear masks while delivering food, not in the kitchen. He said that masks in the kitchen are not necessary when his employees are in close contact with one another on a regular basis.
Reis is originally from France and provided some insight on the situation there. As of Oct. 30, the government of France has implemented its second lockdown, only allowing for nonessential travel within metropolitan France and Martinique.
“Places such as bars, restaurants, and metros are places where the spread of COVID-19 is prevalent,” he stated.
Reis said he also worries that the proximity of The Burger Place to crowded bars in downtown Melbourne is putting him and his employees at risk.
“Students and young people do not always wear masks at bars,” Reis said.
Main Street Pub in downtown Melbourne has taken significant precautionary measures regarding COVID-19. Lena McAneney, the owner of Main Street Pub, explained several steps she has taken to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in her establishment.
“We have to close the door on Fridays and Saturdays to limit capacity.” McAneney said.
She also stated that they hired a professional cleaning service, Servpro, which continually sanitizes the establishment as needed. On top of that, customers and employees must wear face coverings at all times, except while actively eating or drinking while stationary.
Main Street Pub has also expanded its outdoor seating, giving patrons additional space to allow for social distancing in an more open environment. McAneney then mentioned that she is at a high risk of more serious COVID-19 symptoms herself, so implementing these protocols were imperative to her own health.
Senior and psychology major Delainee Rust, who works part time at Bruno’s Pizzeria in Cocoa Beach, suggested that the pandemic has affected business flow.
According to Rust, Bruno’s Pizzeria has experienced more demand for carry-out and delivery orders, though the dining room is open.
“Sometimes [customers] have to wait up to 90 minutes for their pizzas due to the influx of orders,” Rust said.