Timing is everything. And the new restaurant restrictions couldn’t have come at a worse time, say some local businessmen who are now scrambling to adjust their reservations for Thanksgiving dinner.
“People are canceling because it’s groups of five or six that have been on the books for a long time,” said Rhonda Wyatt, owner of Marche Bacchus. “They don’t want to be divided into two tables, because how do you divide a family? All these people said, “Forget it! “”
At Buddy V’s in The Venetian, Elizabeth Blau says dividing tables is just one issue she faces as she tries to satisfy her 300 vacation bookings with half the occupancy.
“We’re going to have to see if people have flexibility in their schedules, try to spread out (reservations),” she said.
In Henderson, Todd Clore, owner of Todd’s Unique Dining, is in the same boat.
“We move the people we need and adjust as needed,” he explains. “All of our empty tables evaporated because we had to move people. “
Related: Restaurants offer family-style, ready-to-go Thanksgiving dinners
As bad as the lost business is, Blau says the last-minute nature of the announcement makes the situation even worse.
“We ordered the turkeys weeks ago,” she explains. “So for the governor to tell us on Sunday night that these restrictions will go into place on Monday (night), knowing that there is a public holiday, is just completely irresponsible. What am I supposed to do with all these turkey scraps? What should I say to the vendors, to our bakers, to our farmers? We don’t need this product? “
Wyatt has tried to avoid this waste of food by offering it in an alternate format to customers who call to cancel.
“While we have them on the phone, we have Thanksgiving take out food, and many of them have opted for that. I try to convert everyone who calls.
One problem she can’t fix by repackaging, however, is the parties she loses because they exceed the governor’s new 50-person event limit.
“Almost every Christmas party we had booked called (Monday) to cancel,” Wyatt said.
“We were already in dire financial straits, and these three weeks pretty much make us spend the holidays,” Blau said of Sisolak’s “statewide break”. “The governor is asking for reservations. He needs tables of four. It needs 25 percent occupancy. And now you have to wear a mask, even during a meal. It’s like, can you blindfold us too?
In some ways, the current situation is worse than the initial shutdown, when there was at least the possibility of rent relief or government assistance, Wyatt says.
“With 25% capacity and no help, I honestly don’t know how long that lasts. Where’s the help? We are all in pain.
Blau echoes his frustrations.
“We don’t understand how our industry has been singled out, with no plan to help us. It’s maddening. We are like pawns in this game.
The Review-Journal is owned by the family of the President and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Sheldon Adelson. Las Vegas Sands operates the Venetian.