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Checking In On Restaurants Amid The Coronavirus Lockdown: Timberloft Restaurant

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Checking In On Restaurants Amid The Coronavirus Lockdown: Timberloft Restaurant

Restaurants across a handful of states reopened their doors to limited seating over the past few days. Benzinga checked in with a handful of restaurants of different sizes to see how they are faring so far at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic remains a major overhang.

This is part two.

Timberloft Restaurant specializes in smoking meats, including barbecue classics like Texas-style brisket, Memphis ribs, smoked prime rib and handcrafted margaritas. The restaurant is located one hour east of Nashville, Tennessee in the town of Gordonsville.

Benzinga had the opportunity to ask Leah Jones a few questions. Jones is an alumnus of Le Cordon Bleu cooking school and her family started Timberloft Restaurant in 1996.

Excited To Get Back To Work

Customers are certainly eager to get out of their houses, especially to avoid cooking and cleaning the dishes, Jones told Benzinga in an e-mail. While the restaurant's staff are certainly excited to get back to work, there is still a sense of worry about income.

"The restaurant industry is hard," Jones said. "In a good economy restaurants fail everyday so, unfortunately, this will probably take some out unless Congress steps in with a package built more towards restaurants."

'Genuine Hospitality And Care' Timberloft's Secret Ingredient

Family-owned restaurants are mostly at a disadvantage against corporate-owned chains, but only from a financial point of view. This implies restaurants like Timberloft Restaurant must find other ways to not only keep up with the giants but outperform them.

Jones has the secret ingredient to winning: "genuine hospitality and care," she said. 

"I would put all my staff up against any corporate restaurant any day and I know their genuine care for the guest to have a good time and leave feeling like they are a part of something will win," Jones said. "That's what will pull us out of this."

Jones On Keeping Everyone Safe

Timberloft Restaurant is dedicated to keeping guests safe by putting all staff through the Servsafe COVID-19 training. Staff is also sanitizing more surfaces more often, spacing tables out to create more social distancing and offering hand sanitizing stations.

"I think when guests come in they will feel confident knowing we are taking extra precautions, she said.

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