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COVID surge forcing some restaurants to opt for takeout only

The recent increase in coronavirus cases has some restaurant owners going back to takeout only, hoping to keep everyone safe.

FORTY FORT, Pa. — There's a service interruption at The Canning House in Forty Fort.

The business is doing take-out and delivery only this week because of the rise in COVID-19 cases.

"We were finally getting to a place where we are staffed again. We lost so many people, and we are at a point where we are fully staffed. Now it's happening a little bit all over again, I mean maybe not to the extent, but now we are at a place where there are some people who can't work, vital people to our group. The people that can work are a little more afraid to be here," said Athena Benincasa, The Canning House.

The holiday season is to blame for the recent surge here and across the country. 

Workers feel this is the best option to keep everyone safe.

"God forbid someone here was asymptomatic and was working and had no idea. What if one of our patrons got sick. That is a worst-case scenario, so we are trying so hard to avoid that," said Benincasa.

Now there are some restaurants that never reopened to indoor dining and strictly stayed take-out, like at Sushi and Thai in Dunmore. 

Workers tell us, especially with this recent surge, it's been working out.

Hiring back enough staff to reopen indoor dining is the problem, so the solution is to keep doing what works.

"I mean, sometimes people want to come in, but we just cannot let that happen. It's been the same as if we were open, though. It's just easier for us to keep up with all the orders," said Isabella Aydin from Sushi and Thai.

Calabria Pizza and Restaurant has been on Drinker Street in Dunmore for the last 40 years. 

For the last two, the dining room has been dark.

"Well, the customers, a lot of customers are upset. They want to come in and relax and enjoy the meal, but unfortunately, it's not the right time to do this. So I decided to close the dining room and keep everyone safe. Business is super good. It's busier now than it ever was," said Pete Cupelli, Calabria Pizza.

The Canning House hopes to reopen indoor dining this weekend.

Watch more stories about the coronavirus pandemic on WNEP’s YouTube page. 

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