Business owners plan to continue newly adapted practices after the pandemic

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Curbside services have become one of the most popular offerings during the pandemic and business owners say, they’ve had to adapt, but they love the new model.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, lawmakers are working to ensure those services can continue.

Justin Ferguson, owner of BRQ said the past year has been a whirlwind.

“Everyday has been a curve ball” said Ferguson.

In 2020 when businesses were forced to close, BRQ spent the down time making upgrades.

“You don’t have time to sit there and throw your hands up and go I don’t know what to do so we really took about 36 hours when everything was shut down and said okay, lets come up with our game plan and this is how it’s going to go” said Ferguson.

Like many others, they created a new outdoor space, adopted touchless menus and curbside pick-up.

“Everyone in the restaurant business is better prepared now and knows what to do when something out of our hands happen and we can’t control it” said Ferguson.

Many business adapted similar practices and those curbside services extended to alcohol sales.

“We think the customers and the citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish responded to it well and handled it well and we think most businesses did the same so we think it’s a business practice we can move forward with” said East Baton Rouge Metro-Councilman, Cleve Dunn.

He said, seeing the good that came out of that service is why he’s pushing for it to continue.

“With that experiment, we’ve seen that that has went quite well and myself and Councilman Moak we want to give these businesses the autonomy to operate in that way moving forward post pandemic” said Dunn.

Covid restrictions are constantly changing, but for Ferguson he’s more prepared now than ever.

“The last year has been hard, but when I look at it now we’re all high-fiving each other saying we made it” said Ferguson.

Later this month, the Metro-Council will discuss amending the ordinance to let bars and restaurants continue curbside services and at-home delivery.

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