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Tampa Bay area restaurants and businesses get creative during coronavirus constrictions

The Mill in St. Pete
Posted at 5:29 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 18:04:51-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — With new guidelines and restrictions coming out every single day businesses are getting creative as the nation grapples with the economic impact of COVID-19.

This could become part of the DNA of our company,” said Jordan Johnson, the owner of a new farm-to-table restaurant, Naked Farmer, in St. Pete.

Johnson’s restaurant is being put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, but after a trip to the supermarket another business idea is coming to life.

“Vegetables and most meats are hard to come by,” Johnson said. So, using the same farmers he was going to source his food from for his restaurant, he says he plans on coming up with a produce delivery service.

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“We’re going to get the food from the farmers to the people and it’s really as simple as that,” Johnson said. “We’re not preparing food we're literally just taking vegetables and distributing them through our system.”

Jason Griffin and his managing partner Ted Dorsey had to furlough a majority of their restaurant employees working at The Mill in St. Pete and in Tampa with profits down 95% this week.

It’s either do that and survive or not do that and fail,” said Griffin.

They, along with so many other restaurants in the Tampa Bay area are doing curbside pick up. Although, Griffin says even that take-out business has been dwindling.

“We’re open and we’re trying to be here for our community and just trying to survive,” said Dorsey.

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Griffin says they’re also screening all of their employees for fever and signs of illness before letting them come inside to prepare food.. plus sanitizing everything.

A new movement by a St. Pete Resident is gaining traction as well.

#CarryOutStPete starts tomorrow, March 20 and goes until March 27. The goal is for local companies to order bulk carry out orders for their employees to help stimulate the local service industry.

And even after bars were told to stop selling alcohol for 30 days, some breweries are attempting to sell growlers and canned beer to go.