Many businesses stay operational
Some Scripps Ranch businesses managed to overcome limitations of the coronavirus pandemic, remaining open to safely serve customers.
School of Rock
Steve Peterson, owner of School of Rock Scripps Ranch, was overseeing his music teachers and students as business began to surge. Then the shutdown order came.
“Thankfully, we started to get prepared before the shutdown happened. So, for about 10 days prior … we started to migrate all of our programs to Zoom,” he said. “Then it became mandatory and the teachers were teaching from an empty school. When the shutdown order came, we shut down and the teachers were teaching from home remotely. We had to get all the teachers set up with all the equipment they need to teach from home. We emptied the building and started working it that way.”
Peterson estimates business is down about 30 percent – most of the losses being students age 8 and under. He said younger students don’t do well with Zoom classes because their attention span is shorter.
“All of the parents have been super supportive,” Peterson said, adding that most wanted classes to continue in some form.
With restrictions lifted, the school will only offer in-studio lessons to small groups at one time and students must wear masks. Drum lessons, which are hard to teach online, will be offered at the school. Voice lessons will still be held online. In fact, Peterson intends to keep virtual classes available as an option.
Yanni’s Bar & Grill
Yannis Pihas, owner of Yanni’s Bar & Grill, said his restaurant has been open from the beginning of the crisis.
“We’re working the best we can to try to stay alive. We have seen a significant reduction in revenue,” Pihas said. “Thank God we have been able to stay open.”
Still, Pihas has been able to keep most of his workers on the payroll, cleaned the place inside and out, and has done some upgrades to the establishment.
“We try to do the best in a bad situation. Trying to capitalize on things we would not be able to do otherwise,” he said.
Yanni’s has a slightly smaller menu, reduced prices and hours: 3-8 p.m. But Yanni’s also added some items, including a few selections for families. Customers must call ahead to place orders starting at 1 p.m. Yanni’s can only prepare so many orders each hour, so customers must reserve a time slot for curbside pick-up. The hours of 5 to 7 p.m. are usually taken by 2 or 3 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday’s Pihas said.
“We have been able to stay open and maintain the majority of the menu for our guests. We are proud of that and we are proud of my team that worked so hard,” Pihas said. “We are very grateful for all the support from the community. It’s really touching our hearts to see day after day we have the same people calling back, making sure we are in business, supporting us.”
In addition, Yanni’s has participated in the Front Line Food Program in which a donor chooses a restaurant and funds meals for workers at a hospital, police or fire station. The restaurant receives funds at a reduced price, and prepares the meals for delivery.
Yanni’s already moved tables and chairs a safe distance in anticipation of physical reopening, and social distancing precautions will be followed closely, Pihas said.
The French Oven Bakery
Yves Fournier, owner of The French Oven Bakery, feels fortunate he was able to adjust with few problems.
“Being as small as (we are), I used that a little bit to my advantage. We first removed the six tables we had outside right from the get-go,” he said. “We started to mention on Facebook that people could call and pick up from the table outside. We allow only two people at a time to pick up. We’ve been working with masks and gloves for quite a while, even before.”
The French Oven is open for pick up 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays. Customers can call to place orders as early as 6 a.m. those days. It takes between 20 minutes to 1 half hour for orders to be ready. Customers are also required to wear masks when they pick up their orders from the table outside.
“We have a pretty good system,” Fournier said.
“We are just very thankful for the community. They have been very supportive of us, very loyal to us. I cannot say thank you enough,” Fournier added.
Since restrictions have been lifted, The French Oven Bakery will not change much and will not put tables and chairs back outside because customers probably won’t feel comfortable sitting down yet, Fournier said.