Coast restaurants gear up for a busy Memorial Day weekend amid the pandemic

Coast restaurants gear up for a busy Memorial Day weekend amid the pandemic

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - We are just days away from Memorial Day and, for restaurants, it’ll be the first major holiday weekend since they got the green light to reopen.

At Brick and Spoon, things are slowly beginning to look somewhat normal again as diners steadily return.

The breakfast and brunch spot is expecting a large crowd this weekend, and with 50 percent capacity rules in place, they plan to take full advantage of outdoor seating space.

“We will have a spot for you as we normally did before the quarantine, it’s just you might have to enjoy outside every once in a while,” said Joshua McQueen, a server at Brick and Spoon.

McQueen said they’re doing what they can to make the best of this weekend despite the new requirements.

“You got to figure out ways to make it work because, I mean, your numbers and your margins in a restaurant business are already small. You got to have 50 percent just to make ends meet, so we need 50 percent plus just to stay afloat," he said.

Le Cafe Beignet owner Sita Lacap is keeping her fingers crossed for a big crowd this weekend. She hopes the reopening of casinos will bring in the extra business that she desperately needs.

“My business is mainly dependent on mainly tourists. We’re 75 percent tourist driven and without that here, we’re not able to make the full amounts that we’re used to," said Lacap.

To handle the possible big crowds this weekend, she plans to offer only half the menu and add an outside ordering booth.

One of her biggest challenges, though, has been staffing. Only 30 percent of her staff returned, and she quickly had to hire new employees to handle the expected rush.

“Memorial Day weekend we are definitely making sure that we are going to be fully staffed to man the crowd that’s probably going to be rolling through this downtown area here. So we are definitely going to make sure we’re ready for it," she said.

Restaurant owners say they’ll be closely following all sanitation guidelines this weekend, as well.

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