As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Eater checked in with Austin’s defining restaurants to see how the pandemic has affected business, service models, and more. Next up in this series: Ryan Myers, jack-of-all-trades at essential Austin taco shop Veracruz All Natural.
Eater Austin: How is the COVID-19 pandemic affecting business right now?
Ryan Myers: Business is good, considering we are in a worldwide pandemic and in light of our current practices for social distancing and limiting dining capacity that impact business. Numbers are lower due to the pandemic, however we are comfortable with our precautions to keep people safe, and a dip in numbers is okay with us as long as we are keeping people healthy.
What is the current service model?
We are offering to-go orders for pickup and delivery at five of our locations, and in-person ordering at two of our locations. Our dining room at the Line Hotel is open for limited capacity.
We regularly gather feedback from our customers and closely monitor online reviews, so we know there is some frustration out there with parts of our current business model. We ask that our customers remember that we are still in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. In the U.S., over 250,000 people have died. This is a time when patience and kindness are paramount, and we promise that we are doing our best.
Are y’all planning or thinking about any future changes (due to COVID-19 or otherwise)?
We are consistently iterating on our business model during this worldwide pandemic. We err on the side of caution, so we are not in a rush to open more dining spaces. That being said, we are trying to improve our model for online ordering and pickup, mainly accuracy and length of wait times.
What measures are you currently implementing to prevent the spread of COVID?
Shifting our business model to focus on online ordering for pick-up and delivery has been our strongest front-facing measure. We have tried to be transparent with our internal COVID-19 policies, and on our website, we have posted the current measures we are implementing for our staff at all of our locations.
How has business been so far?
We have opened a new location (Littlefield’s in Tarrytown), and remodeled and opened a new dining room (The Line Hotel) during the pandemic, and we feel so blessed that we have experienced positive growth in our business during this unprecedented time.
Business is good enough. By that, I mean that our first priority is the health of our employees and customers, and we feel very blessed that our business is alive and well under these circumstances.