Area restaurateur makes changes as Wolfie's prepares to reopen

Posted at 4:47 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 18:57:13-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Restaurant owners across the state are getting prepared to reopen their doors. While they still don't know when that day will be one owner is ready to put extensive safety precautions in place once his doors open back up.

Typically when you come into Wolfie's at Geist you see a caddie on the table with mustard, ketchup, salt and pepper. Workers at the restaurant are taking those of the table. When the restaurant reopens, if a customer needs condiments they will get a small individual portion.

"We understand how important it is to open up the right way," Scott Wolf, owner of Wolfie's, said.

With seven restaurants in Hamilton County, Wolf is focusing on the future and the day when families once again fill the empty tables.

"Our thing right now is we need to be prepared to open up," Wolf said. "We are assuming it's going to be a 50 percent open seating capacity."

The priority is making sure both staff members and customers feel safe. It starts with spreading out tables, at least six feet apart and removing condiments so guests aren't sharing the same bottles.

"Instead of coming in and waiting in a waiting area we are not going to be able to do that," Wolf said. "As far as hanging at the bar and waiting for your table that won't happen. We are going to have separation areas. Once those get full we are going to have you wait in a car. We will text you and say, 'Hey, your table is ready.'"

Staff members will also have their temperatures taken daily and one member will be dedicated during every shift to sanitizing the entire restaurant.

"Another one will be running all the food. They only handle food," Wolf said. "Another one will handle all the dirty dishes. It's going to change the dynamics on how we operate the restaurants going forward."

While carryout sales for Wolfies during the COVID-19 pandemic have increased to 25 percent of normal sales, Wolfs said he worries what will happen if dining rooms don't reopen soon.

"How long can we sustain this? I don't know," Wolf said. "If this continues, unfortunately I've talked to some of my fellow guys that are restaurateurs and they aren't going to reopen and that's sad."