For many local businesses, the pivot to takeout and delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic is not easy, and brings up complicated issues. Popular ice cream mini chain Molly Moon’s — with eight locations in the Seattle area — gave takeout a try with reduced hours, but decided on Monday that it would close temporarily for two weeks, citing public health concerns as a primary reason.
“We came to realize over the weekend that social distancing wasn’t happening with all of our customers, and we know that the time for our city and region to act is NOW … the vast majority of us are going to stay home, and we hope you make this choice, too,” said the shop in a statement. Molly Moon’s added that it would explore how to possibly add delivery options, while still keeping its employees safe.
Two other local chains are also hitting the pause button for similar reasons. Fellow ice cream purveyor Salt and Straw, the Portland-based company with Seattle locations in Ballard and Capitol Hill, announced it would temporarily close all locations across the country, citing the safety of its staff as the top concern. And Li’l Woody’s — the well-known burger chain with four locations around the city — said it would be closing for the time being “in an effort to do our part in immediate social distancing.”
All this came even before Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a stay at home order for the entire state, which still allows restaurants to stay open for takeout and delivery, but escalates other restrictions, such as banning gatherings of people for social, spiritual, and recreational purposes.