The Root Trackside and Tangent Eat + Bar, both restaurants in downtown Elon, are cutting half their staff temporarily in response to the coronavirus, which is also known as COVID-19.
Both restaurants only have three to five employees working, down from the typical nine to 13 employees, according to the restaurants’ business partner and town of Elon Alderman Quinn Ray.
“We spent 11 years making a business plan and a business model, and then we had to switch everything up, basically starting a new business,” Ray said. “It’s such a fluid time right now. Things need to adapt and change to each coming day.”
Quinn says he plans to rehire his workers back when the state and country allow dine-in restaurants to be fully functioning again. He said the employees who have been temporarily cut have been coming in for complimentary meals.
“We want to see that light at the end of the tunnel and see all the students back,” Ray said. “We want to get back to normal as quickly as possible.”
In March, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all restaurants and bars to stop serving dine-in patrons in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
According to a COVID-19 community mobility report released by Google, there is 43% less time spent at retail and recreational places — including restaurants — in Alamance County compared to the median value.
535,400 North Carolinians filed COVID-19-related unemployment claims statewide between March 15 and April 15, according to the North Carolina Division of Employment Security.
Forty-eight people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Alamance County and 5,859 have tested positive for the coronavirus statewide. Additionally, 152 people have died, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
The Root and Tangent have cut down on normal business hours and have suspended all dining room service. Both restaurants are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m every day of the week, with the exception of Sunday, and offer curbside pickup, takeout and DoorDash delivery.
In order to help small businesses in downtown Elon stay open, Ray asks students to help raise money via the donation page created by Alderwoman Emily Sharpe. A portion of the funds will provide meals from The Root and Tangent to healthcare workers and first responders.
On Tuesday, April 14, Tangent delivered 70 tacos to Alamance Regional Medical Center, according to the donation page.