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How one St. Augustine restaurant is trying to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic

Owners say that business is compressed and scary.

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – Restaurants across America are taking a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In downtown St. Augustine, the owners of Burger Buckets sum it up like this: business is compressed and scary.

On an average night, Burger Buckets is usually packed with customers eating burgers and ice cream, but the arrival of COVID-19 in the tourist city has created changes the restaurant never saw coming.

“People talk about it being a haunted city. It truly is now," said owner Gary Easton. “When you see someone walk by, you chase after them, give them a hug at 6-feet distance and try to get them to come in and get some food.”

Owners Gary and Michelle Easton, known as Mom and Pop, say they are now serving a fraction of the customers.

“We’ve gone from a very busy dining room experience to delivery, carry out, curbside, which is great, but its certainly different from what we were doing two months ago,” Gary Easton said.

The Easton’s say the majority of their staff is out of work.

“We went from 43 to 7,” Gary Easton said.

Funny videos on Facebook are how the owners say they continue to connect with their customers despite the difficult circumstances.

The day after Easter

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“It would just be nice to see some normal again," Gary Easton said.

The owners say they’re looking forward to their seats being filled again soon.

The owners say they’re going to be partnering with a company called Mr. Greens where they will be offering curbside produce pick up for vegetables and fruits at their restaurant.

They say they’ll be keeping customers informed on the restaurant’s Facebook page.


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