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SWFL restaurants 'coping' without dine-in options

Posted: 10:26 PM, Mar 20, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-23 09:54:05-04

FORT MYERS, FLA — For the Shrimp Shack in Fort Myers, March 20 should be a busy lent Friday.

But the business, now limited to just drive-thru and carry-out, is feeling the pinch.

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"We've never experienced a total shutdown like this, even during a hurricane we were able to get open pretty quickly and be able to serve people," said owner Kathy Harshman.

The change, ordered by Governor DeSantis to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, is leading to some creative solutions.

"We're going to probably start are new program like a car hop service. We'll have you just pull up and we'll just kind of get your order and run inside, place the order, cook it and bring it out to your car so you don't even have to get out of your vehicle," said Harshman.

But Harshman says that creativity can only take them so far.

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They've also had to let some people go.

"We're started by laying off all of our high school students first because we figured their parents are home so they can take care of them. We tried not to lay off any of our full time employees, today will be the first day that we'll have to make our cuts," said Harshman.

And she adds that small businesses need the community now more than ever.

"Support small business. The big chains? The have a million restaurants to keep them going," said Harshman.