Restaurants scramble to take care of employees, keep limited business going

Restaurants across the city have been forced to close in-person dining amid the coronavirus outbreak.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Like many communities in metro Atlanta, The City of Smyrna issued an executive order Friday night that bans in-person dining at local restaurants.

Channel 2′s Nicole Carr was at Muss and Turner’s in Cobb County, where workers have set up a system where no one comes into close contact with anyone while picking up an order. Customers instead place orders online, and pickup times are spread out so that a lot of people aren’t in and out at the same time.

The emergency declaration also allows alcohol orders to go with takeout orders and shuts down places where crowds gather.

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Earlier this week, Muss and Turner’s owner, Ryan Turner, said he had to let go of 147 employees between his three restaurants, which include Local Three and MTH Pizza. The company is trying to pay for workers’ health insurance as long as possible, while employees file for temporary unemployment.

In addition to operating with skeleton hourly employees, they are feeding all their employees and families for free, offering the same to neighboring restaurant employees, and they've set up an employee support fund.

"It's challenging for everyone, and literally no one on the planet has ever gone through this before," Turner said. "So it's daunting, but we're choosing to embrace the adversity and make the best out of it."

Customers said picking up food is a nice way for them to get out of the house and feel normal.