Restaurants throughout the city are getting ready for New Year’s, however some business owners have found it difficult to prepare due to unpredictable dining numbers and new COVID-19 protocol.
“Honestly, with COVID I don’t even know what Friday is going to be like,” Chad Jacobs, owner and operator of TJ’s Pizza, told the News. “Usually what happens (is I) go back the year before and kind of see the numbers, but with COVID you can’t do that anymore because you have no idea what to expect … You can’t predict what the next day’s going to bring.”
Jacobs, who has ran multiple restaurants in Medicine Hat over the years, says his team at TJ’s Pizza are approaching New Year’s the same way they approach every day.
“We make our dough fresh every morning and then we (prepare) all of the meat and vegetables … It’s nothing really different or out of the ordinary,” he said.
At Blue Flame Restaurant, which does both takeout and indoor dining, owner Khem Kandel has ensured he has sufficient staff to serve customers.
“We are set, we are ready for any kind of volume we might be having on New Year’s Eve.” Kandel told the News. “I already have additional support – additional manpower. Last year, we experienced that we could not (keep up) due to the volume. We don’t know what’s going to happen this time but we still need to get ready and get prepared from our side. If the customers come or not, that’s not under our control.”
Some establishments within the city have requested diners reserve their table in advance, while others are offering meals for pre-order.
Kandel is thankful for the support whether it be for reservations, takeout or dining-in.
“I just want to thank everyone for supporting local businesses and I would like to wish Happy New Year,” he said.
KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News