Jacksonville restaurant takes a hit on first day of Florida’s stay-at-home order

The current order will remain in place until April 30.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Friday marked the first full day of a statewide stay-at-home order.

And while it may appear that many people stayed at home, it also appears that some businesses that are allowed to stay open may have felt the effects.

For the past couple weeks, people calling Players Grille in Miramar to place orders for pickup have become the norm now that coronavirus has forced all restaurants in Jacksonville from allowing customers to dine inside. And business had been steady.

But on Friday when the stay-at-home order went into effect for people with non-essential jobs, there were far fewer orders for pickup.

“The last couple of days have been good, but today there was a setback,” said server Sean Lampton.

To compensate for the setback, the restaurant is now considering shortening the menu so that they don’t waste money on food items from their vendor.

“We can’t make our chili, which everybody loves. We make it homemade, a big batch probably every two to three days. So, we have to take that off the menu because it can’t keep,” he said.

Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Friday, they had less than 10 customers come in for pickup. The evening shift didn’t do so well either.

But Ali Chastain came in for her pickup order. She’s a regular customer who feels bad for the staff.

“It’s heartbreaking," she said. "I was in customer service for 13 years and the majority of my friends are still bartenders and I want to say 90-percent of them have lost their jobs.”

The one silver lining in here is that although there are fewer regular customers ordering to go, the customers who have picked up orders have been extra generous with tips.

“I think they know we’re struggling as well as they are and they’re trying to help out as much as they can," Lampton said.

Despite the recent struggles, Lampton said he’s optimistic that once the stay-at-home order is lifted, business will pick back up.

The current order will remain in place until April 30.

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