Nick Pontikis, owner of Thanasi’s Olympus Greek Restaurant in Windsor, Ontario near Detroit, said on-again off-again COVID-19 lockdowns are too much to bear for restaurants and staff.
He told AM 800 radio that the recent closing of non-essential businesses will be the end for many of them and then when the lockdown ends it will be too late because they’ll be gone, gone, gone.
"It is so unfair to keep laying them off, hire them back only to hope they come back once we reopen," said Pontikis. "I've lost about half of my staff, they moved on, they've gone elsewhere."
He said his restaurant has two large dining rooms and a banquet hall but functions are off limits too and they are a lucrative part of a food catering and restaurant business.
"My banquet business is pretty well shut, completely shut down my banquet room because of the size requirements as far as crowds," he says. "My takeout is only about 15 to 20 percent of my business."
“It’s devastating. This could be the final straw in many restaurants careers,” he said, being allowed only takeout and delivery.