Becky Kuntzelman | Johnson Publications
Heather Stumpff, right, a waitress at Pizza Hut, was manning the sidewalk pizza sales Monday evening.
DHM directive ushers in new reality for local food establishments
Governor Ricketts’ Directed Health Measure (DHM) to further limit social interactions for all 93 counties in Nebraska is now in effect through May 11, unless renewed.
Because of the directive that bars in-house dining, Imperial’s eating establishments are adapting to and embracing a new way of doing business.
Shelby Jutten, manager at 509 Broadway, said, “We have to take what we have and roll with it.”
“I asked myself what we can do better to serve our community and change so as to put a positive spin on the situation,” she added.
The tables inside are closed to customers, and access to the retail part of the store is by appointment only, Jutten said.
“We still sell our variety of coffee selections, bagels and breakfast burritos. Customers can order and pick up their purchases at the counter or by curbside delivery,” she said.
Store staff also delivers to businesses and residential locations.
“We have been donating coffee to the hospital, and people in the community are generously ordering coffee deliveries to the hospital staff,” Jutten said.
With foot traffic reduced within the store, Jutten said they are getting inside projects done they hadn’t had time for previously.
“We have changed our store hours to 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for now,” she added.
Restaurants, move to take-out, delivery only
Marcy Nesbitt, co-owner of M&M’s, takes orders in person or preferably call-in orders, both for take out.
“We also deliver orders curb side per request,” she said.
Take out orders have increased on Tuesday Mexican food night, Nesbitt said.
But even with increased take out orders, daytime sales are down by half, she added.
She encourages people to follow safety directives and stay under 10 people in the store at all times.
“I appreciate the community, and I feel a huge responsibility to people. I don’t want to compromise anyone’s health—the public or my staff,” Nesbitt said.
They sanitize everything in the store often, even the ink pens, she said.
Both Sweden Creme and Subway take call-in orders, and both have online ordering, as well. They also offer curbside delivery at request.
Call-in and online orders at Subway have remained fairly steady, said shift leader Gabby Murillo.
Sweden Creme owner/manager Jamie Jussel said out-of-town customers are down a little but in-town customer numbers are still strong.
“We’ve had a major increase in call-in and online orders,” Jussel said.
All three establishments have increased cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces anyone touches with all staff wearing disposable gloves.
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