As early as February 15, Patric Yumul could see that something was happening. Reservations started to decline. Businesses were cancelling events. “We took a look at our cash reserves and started thinking about worst-case scenarios. Eventually we decided to shut everything down,” says Yumul, president of MINA Group, a global restaurant management company founded by award-winning chef Michael Mina.
For Dan Giraudo, the moment of realization came shortly after, when California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered restaurants to limit themselves to 50% capacity to slow the spread of COVID-19. “We knew it would soon be 25%, then 0%,” says Giraudo, CEO of Boudin Bakery, a legendary San Francisco bakery that dates back to 1849—and is still using the same sourdough starter created that year by founder Isidore Boudin.
Boudin knew it needed to pivot to generate revenue during this time. It introduced meal packages that supply everything needed to feed a family of two or four, including sourdough soup bowls, sandwiches, and cookies. Courtesy of Pier 39 San Francisco
The world over, beloved restaurants like these have been hit hard by COVID-19, devastating the employees who are losing paychecks and owners with their businesses at risk. This story zeroes in on just two of those restaurants, to show the decisions business leaders are having to make, and the different approaches they’re taking to keep their businesses alive and to support and nourish the communities that have sustained them.