EDMONTON — The Alberta Government laid new restrictions on restaurants on Friday afternoon – no more dining inside; takeout or delivery only.
The family owned chain Café Amore had already been hit by the lack of business due to physical distancing. All four of their locations were lucky to have a table or two of customers for the whole day, even though the restaurant had already voluntarily spaced the tables out to accommodate the suggested physical distancing.
“We did everything by the government rules obviously to keep the distance between patrons, you know six feet or two meters between each other, keeping it under 50 people then keeping it under 15.” said owner Cristo Crudo.
These new restrictions were the final nail in the coffin – the restaurants were shut down late Friday night and about 74 employees were laid off.
“I love all my employees as if they were my own family but I’m glad to know that the federal government is providing some assistance for that.” Crudo said.
But now Crudo and a few employees he was able to hang onto have turned the business into another direction – cook at home care packages for friends and loved ones in isolation.
“It’s lasagna, ready to go, with cooking instructions that we supply in our gift packs. It’s something that you can store in your pantry, you can store in your fridge. You can take care of a family of two, you can take care of a family of four.”
Called Amore Care Relief Packages, they come with pasta, sauces, bread, and even wine. And as an extra special touch: a personalized note for the recipient can be included.
Crudo hopes this will help keep him afloat while spreading some love and kindness to those in the community that need it.
With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Amanda Anderson