FRONT LINE: Catering business owner fights through new struggles

2020 - cider junction Tell us about what you do for work.

John: "I run a catering company called Cider Junction and do post-game meals for the San Jose Earthquakes."

SJEQ: What kind of restrictions has COVID-19 put on your job?

John:  "Now when people come to pick up their food they have to wait in their cars.  We are also wearing masks and gloves inside while cooking and it gets extremely hot. Also, it is much harder to get product; for example, meat has doubled in price recently. It has affected every little thing for us."

SJEQ: How is your job different now compared to before COVID-19.

John: "It is a lot more difficult because product is scarce and very expensive. I’m having to bargain a lot more. Likewise, I have lost a lot of my day to day catering. For example, I don’t cater for the Quakes anymore since there aren’t any games."

SJEQ: Have your coworkers been affected any differently at work?

John: "The guy that works with me has had his hours cut. He has been working with me for 5 years and is like a son to me. I want to take care of him the best I can. He also worries about interacting with customers and other people because of the virus."

SJEQ: What has been the most challenging aspect of working under these new conditions? 

John: "Anxiety of not knowing when things will go back to normal and not much to feel positive about. In essence, we are working twice as hard for half as much profit."

SJEQ: What have been the positives for you?

John: "It has taken me out of my comfort zone a lot. I’ve also become more personable with my customers. People are calling me on my cell on the phone every 10 minutes for orders. I am also investing a lot more in my business."