As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its fourth month, restaurants are getting adjusted to new ways of operating that comply with how people are required to interact now.
For My Wife Didn’t Cook restaurant in New Britain, after a few uneasy days at the start of the outbreak, its business started to pick up and has been steady ever since. With phase two beginning last Wednesday, owner Divone Tanksley is ready to serve more customers sitting at his tables.
“For the pandemic, we’ve been doing very good,” Tanksley said. “People were sitting down and then people that are driving by see people sitting down and wonder what are they doing sitting over there. Then people who never knew about the business see people eating outside and walk in and grab a menu and order takeout. So that first phase was actually good as well.”
My Wife Didn’t Cook, New Britain’s only soul food restaurant, serves southern classics like fried chicken, fried fish, macaroni and cheese and collard greens. The restaurant has more than 50 years of cooking experience and recently received a liquor license, giving customers another reason to place an order.
“I’m looking to really get people back in the restaurant,” Tanksley said. “We have TVs in the restaurant, we have music playing; we just got our alcohol beverage permit so we’re allowed to sell some beers and everything.”
Tanksley has also made a concerted effort to give back to his community. The restaurant has given out more than 1,500 plates of food during the pandemic to help feed people in New Britain during difficult times.
My Wife Didn’t Cooks is committed to keeping its customers and staff safe during the pandemic and is taking all of the precautions to do so. Tanksley said he recently compiled a list of restaurant safety laws to communicate what measures the restaurant is taking and what it expects from the customers in return.
“We have dividers and when people come in to order they know that it’s set up [to keep people] six feet apart so they have social distancing,” Tanksley said. “We have our sign for masks so people know to have their masks when they come in and order. We have sanitation stations at the register so people can wash their hands; our employees are washing the tables and the door handles continuously.”