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Some restaurants not ready to reopen

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jun 10, 2020

LANSING, Mich. — While many restaurants were chomping at the bit to reopen their doors, others are taking a much slower approach.

"We had a discussion with me and my employees, everybody was on the side of 'let's wait and see what's going to happen' because we know that a lot of people are very anxious to get out of their house and run into places and we decided it's better for us to take a few more weeks and see how this would play out."

At Altu's Ethiopian Cusine in East Lansing, dine-in services make up a majority of their profits, but owner Altaye Tadesse said the sacrifice is worth it.

"Health comes first, money will make it. So far we are here, thank God. We're going to make it so it's better to take it slowly. Money comes later, people have to be cautious of their health," Tadesse said.

Just minutes away at Green Dot Stables, it will be at least a month until customers are able to sit down inside.

"Good things take time and we want to make sure we're doing it right."

Only given a week's notice by the state with operations down to a minimum, owner Christine Driscoll said they'll wait until their large staff is comfortable with new protocols.

"These new things that we're doing to protect ourselves and our guests. I don't want the first time we wear a mask during full service to be serving another person. I want us to be, have our routines down and be comfortable with that and I think moving slowly gives us that opportunity. It's like moving a mountain. You don't just flip a switch and you open," Driscoll said.

At Red Haven in Okemos, the Farm to Table restaurant is starting with outdoor patio dining, but on top of safety, they have other concerns.

"It's a lot more expensive for us to operate a full restaurant so of course, everyone talks about the 50% dinning reduction but I think even without that you're going to be looking at a significant reduction because everyone has different comfort levels," said Nina Santucci, owner of Red Haven in Okemos.

Many restaurants say servers were making more money on unemployment.

Owners are working with the unemployment agency to figure out ways to bring them back while still collecting partial benefits.

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