MUSKEGON, Mich. — Be it dining in or picking up, Raj Grewal says it’s nice to finally see customers in his business.
“Since we opened today at noon, we had people started [sic] coming here quarter to 12 ready to order, dine in,” said Grewal.
Grewal’s family owns Curry Kitchen and Naan Pizza in Muskegon.
Like other businesses, the Indian restaurants continue to be impacted by COVID19 and restrictions set forth by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, like a 25 percent capacity limit.
The current order is set to expire at the end of March.
“We don’t want to give up you know,” said Grewal.”We’ve been in the Lakeshore for a long time.”
Grewal estimates year-over-year sales to be down 50 to 70 percent. He says there’s a reluctance to dine in small spaces like his and while online sales help, a large portion of the profit goes back to those delivery services. Additional challenges include increased costs on goods.
“It’s been a stress, a lot of stress,” said Grewal. “You have the same bills to pay; When you don’t have customers or sales, what do you do?”
Friday Grewal took to Facebook asking people for help or risk his restaurants closing. His post has been shared more than a thousand times and a steady stream of customers followed.
“They (customers) said we make sure, they want us to stay,” said Grewal. “It doesn’t matter what kind of help they will provide us, offer us everything.”
Grewal says it feels good to be supported especially after being on the other side; From March to September last year, he and his wife gave away 23,000 free meals to families in need.
It needs to continue though he says. Grewal hopes his story pushed people to support the small restaurants near them.
“They don’t have any back up like big franchises,” said Grewal. “If they’re loosing money here in Michigan, they’re making money in Florida or California. But when you have a small restaurant or a small local business here, you don’t have back up from anywhere. People should support all the local businesses especially to survive.”