Increased restaurant capacity: Business owners break down the math and the money

Business Owners Break It Down
Posted at 5:31 PM, Mar 03, 2021

(WXYZ) — The pandemic has shown how drastically different things in one industry can be. Restaurants have been struggling for close to a year and every one of them is experiencing its own unique challenges.

RELATED: Michigan restaurants open with 50% capacity under loosened restrictions

For some, the state’s decision to allow more people inside may or may not make a difference to their bottom lines.

"It's different for every establishment," said Sandy Levine, a partner at Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails.

Levine has been in the restaurant and hospitality industry for decades across metro Detroit.

"Fifty percent of 200 seats is very different than 50 percent of 50 seats," he said. "At Chartreuse, when we set up our patio tables, it almost doubles our seating so it makes a really big difference to us getting closer to breaking even each week."

For Babbob Fare in New Center, Mamba Hanissi and his wife are the proud owners.

"We came as refugees and started a new life in the United States," Mamba said. "This is our second week."

RELATED: Whitmer relaxes COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan, increases capacity for restaurants & businesses

They were supposed to open last May, however, the pandemic stalled their plans. But for them, the governor's news of loosening restrictions came right on time.

"We felt we were going to go bankrupt even before we opened," Mamba said. "Now we can at least open 50 percent because we are suffering."