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Family-owned restaurant among Jacksonville eateries adjusting to new normal

Amid coronavirus pandemic, Enza’s in Mandarin is focusing on take-out order, curbside pickups and deliveries

Family-owned restaurant among Jacksonville eateries adjusting to new normal
Family-owned restaurant among Jacksonville eateries adjusting to new normal

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Restaurants are trying adjusting to the new normal amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For Michael and Enza Huff’s family-owned restaurant, Enza’s, the mayor’s order limiting restaurants to no more than 50 people at a time, including staff members, is making it difficult to keep the business going.

“We’ve had to let go of a lot -- most of our busing staff and our hostess staff. Some of our part-time wait staff we’ve laid off temporarily. And we’re trying to keep our full-time, the ones who have been there the longest, and what they’re doing is switching shifts, giving everyone an opportunity to come in and work,” Michael Huff said.

Enza’s has been in the same location on San Jose Boulevard in Mandarin for 16 years. The owners said family is their priority and they understand that public safety comes first.

Enza’s has the capacity to hold 250 diners at a time, so people who are coming in now are being spaced apart. And, like a lot of area restaurants, Enza’s is focusing heavily on take-out orders, curbside pickups and deliveries so it can stay open.

Enza's Italian Restaurant (Special to WJXT)

“It means devastation, really. We can not pay our bills without income. No one can. So, you know, we may have to depend on low- or no-interest loans from the government to get us through if it’s short term. Long term, I don’t believe there’s any recovery other than starting over again, starting from scratch, which, hey, we will if we have to,” the owners said.

The Huffs said they will do what they can for as long as they can, as their restaurant is part of the fabric of their lives and their customers are family.

The Huffs also said save money on toilet paper and buy lasagna instead.

The Effect of Coronavirus on Family Restaurant Owners
The Effect of Coronavirus on Family Restaurant Owners

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Anchors the 4:30 a.m. newscast, provides traffic updates throughout the rest of The Morning Show, then reports on events in the community.