LA to list restaurants with COVID-19 outbreaks. How might this affect the future of food?

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LA County announced it will release a list of restaurants that have had COVID-19 outbreaks. So far, thousands of restaurant workers have lost their jobs, and businesses across the region have been shuttering. Those who are still working are putting themselves at risk.

According to Mona Holmes, being on the COVID-19 outbreak list could add to challenges restaurants are already facing: 

“That could deter customers from wanting to eat their food or even give them some business. Restaurants are already the cleanest place in any industry. The health department can stop for an inspection any time and they still are.”

Restaurants are practicing safe sanitation for customers and employees alike. Holmes adds, “I have a lot of trust in how they do things, and I hope Angelenos do too.” 

Royce Burke, chef and owner of Secret Lasagna and Market , operates his businesses on a take-out and delivery only model, which helped him mobilize during the pandemic. 

Royce Burke with a plate of casserole. His restaurant is new, running on takeout and delivery. Photo credit: Jake Ahles/Alyssa Noui. 

“We really wanted to think about this not just as a temporary stop gap to keep people employed now, but something that would make sense on the flipside of this” Burke says. 

He expects that nothing will be “normal” when stay-at-home orders are lifted. “A lot of restaurants are not going to be able to come back, so it was important for me to do something that was not just for this time, [but] that it would make sense on the other side.”

Burke’s restaurant also provides food for struggling restaurant workers. They’re doing this in coordination with No Us Without You , a charity that provides undocumented restaurant workers with support during COVID-19. 

Royce Burke and his staff at Secret Lasagna Market. They help provide food for other struggling restaurant workers during COVID-19. Photo courtesy of Royce Burke.