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Managing a business during the pandemic and now, a curfew

Posted at 10:18 PM, Nov 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-30 00:18:40-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Bud Sayso, owner of 'Tuk Tuk Thai Street Food' said when he opened in the summer, business was good.

"We tapered down quite a bit."

That taper down, he said, cost him some employees.

"We were employing like 15 people and now we're down to 10."

Those five people joined the rising number of Arizonans who've also recently become unemployed.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Arizona's rate in October at 8%, that's up from 6.5% in September.

"Customers love our food and we have a lot of loyal customers already."

Those loyal customers, Sayso said, have been a lifeline for his business, which opened in the middle of the pandemic.

A challenge in itself, now he's having to reckon with a voluntary curfew in Pima County.

"I think people are less likely to go out."

His restaurant closes at 9 p.m., an hour from the start of the curfew, enough time he said, to thin out customers.

Ever the businessman, Sayso has considered other options to increase business, like delivery, which comes with it's own price.

"Now I'm thinking about it but the cost association is huge."

A last resort measure he said it pained him to take: laying off some of his staff.

"We had to do it. We don't have enough hours to get the 15."

Even among those who's hours he's cut he says he offers what ever relief he can.

"We can't give you the hours that we used to and this is what we can do. We give them a free meal."

The voluntary curfew isn't being legally enforced; hours run from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. until the end of the year.

Between then and now, Sayso said he'll add another shift.

"Hopefully we'll do breakfast, generate some revenue then we'll give more hours to the staff we have now."