Central Ohio restaurants plan new ways to stay safe in the new year

The new year is bringing a common foe: COVID-19.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — When the ball drops and the New Year begins, some restaurants in Columbus will be well into their 2022 plans. One is Watershed Kitchen + Bar.

10TV spoke with Marlon Gannon, the Director of Restaurant Operations. 

“This past holiday the numbers are there, and people are coming back out and things are great. It feels fantastic we’re really excited about 2022 and our new initiatives,” he said.

But the New Year is bringing along a common foe: COVID-19.

Gammon said business was good, then came the Omicron variant. Yet, the restaurant stayed open despite the virus’ spreading in Columbus.

While inside, masks are required to be worn unless you’re sitting. What’s kept them going is expecting the unexpected. In 2022, Gammon says the restaurant will roll out a new insurance plan for full-time employees, as well as a COVID PTO plan that will help workers stay paid if they must take off sick.

“We’re trying to put our people first and do the best that we can to keep them safe and give them a great environment,” said Gammon.

John Barker with the Ohio Restaurant Association told 10TV some places were closed on New Year’s Eve because they didn’t have the staff. The new variant has caused some places to adapt old habits.

“2021 was a bit of a roller coaster for the restaurant industry,” Barker said, “It started off a little slow, as we got into the spring restaurant sales picked up in all sectors. Some restaurants have gone back to requiring their staff to wear facemasks, we’ve seen some restaurants that are requiring vaccines. It’s a little bit of a wild, wild west out there again and people are going to really have to pay attention to everything.”

Gammon plans to make sure both fun and safety are maintained throughout the next year.

“We’re very confident that we’re going to come out of this and we’re staying together we’re being together health and wellness,” said Gammon.

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COVID-19 in Ohio: Recent Coverage ⬇️

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