California restaurant converts to general store amid coronavirus pandemic


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The coronavirus is forcing restaurant owners to get creative if they want to continue to be profitable.

Prairie in the Mission District restaurant in California has started selling items they would have normally used for daily operations.

“This was very unforeseen, but I started working on our “what if” strategy about two weeks ago,” Prairie restaurant owner Anthony Strong said. “We don’t sell anything by weight or measure, just whole items in bulk basically.”

The store is selling everything from fresh produce to coffee to toilet paper.

Strong says it’s a nod to his great grandparents, who ran a general store following the Great Depression. It also gives those who work for him and the vendors he works with a continued income.

“I don’t even know if it’s working at all yet, I know we’re getting people food and keeping our lights on. We’re gonna do it as long as we can,” Strong said. 

Financial analysts say though a stimulus is on the way, small business owners like Strong will likely have to consider layoffs and cutting costs where they can.

The same goes for the average American.

“We are closer to a bottom than to a top. If you have a little bit of extra cash, that’s a great thing,” Rob Black said.

Financial experts like Rob Black say the average American should focus on needs instead of wants and not make any rash decisions.

If you have a 401K and are still employed, now is the time to fully participate. If you’re a gig worker, analyze those mandatory costs and limit your spending.

For those with portfolios, don’t pull out of the market. Instead, understand what you own, and make sure you’re not fully invested in one sector.

“We’re down 35% roughly from all-time highs that happened one month ago. One month ago, you looked like a genius for staying invested, today you look like you should’ve gotten a little more diversification in,” Black said.

Experts say what we can control, is staying inside so take the time to prepare for recovery.

“We’re gonna get out of this, probably 6-18 months back to all-time highs. The sad part about it is that it’s our kids and our kids’ kids that are gonna be paying for that trillion-dollar-plus bailout,” Black said.

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