Jacksonville area service industry employees worried about making ends meet amid corona virus

Jacksonville area, Fla. — Mayor Lenny Curry mandated no more than 50 people in an establishment at one time and no alcohol sales between midnight and 8 a.m. That means a hard hit for bartenders in the Jacksonville area.

“I was surprised he didn’t shut us down. So, we will take what we can, abide by the rules,” said Fernando Meza, the general manager of “The Wreck” at Jax Beach.

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Restaurant owners are already experiencing a hit, and many large corporations have taken measures to suspend inside dining, including Starbucks, which will stay open but offer grab-and-go only.

Local business owner Raul Arias, who owns Mambos Cuban Café, had to cut employees early over the weekend, which is typically the restaurant’s busy time.

“We had to send some of them home Friday and Saturday, which is normally when we would overstaff and have max capacity at the restaurant,” Arias said.

Mambos is now rolling out a new free online delivery service with a $15 order minimum to give his employees more hours and another way to bring in business.

“In order to keep our employees employed we had to find other measures to bring sales in,” Arias said.

Even food truck owners are feeling the heat.

“This is as bad as it gets for us cause if people don’t come out we don’t make money,” said Jeremy Chinchilla, who owns two food trucks. He said all major events were canceled and he has no place to sell his food. ​