Local businesses in the pandemic

Some retail businesses in California reopened Friday, May 8 while citizens still remain under a general quarantine. In Walnut, essential businesses have had varying success responding to the pandemic. Most food and drink establishments have experienced a decrease in customers.

During the week of Monday, May 4, Newsom and other state officials announced the changes that are planned for California’s official reopening. A resilience roadmap has been organized for the state with four stages: the operation of essential businesses, the opening of lower-risk businesses, then higher-risk workplaces and the eventual end of the stay-at-home order. California is currently moving to Stage 2.

Note: Employees who are not named wished to remain anonymous.

Donut Tree

“The business is very slow right now,” an employee at Donut Tree said. “I feel okay. Everything is going well at the moment. We only have one worker working currently [per shift].”


“The crew got cut in half because our lobby’s closed so it’s only drive through,” an employee at McDonald’s said. “There’s way less customers. We used to get maybe 60 to 90 cars per hour but now it’s 30 to 40 [cars]. Managers get more hours than the crew. We are still open 24 hours.”


“With the normal shifts, we usually have two people but now it’s only one person working alone,” Ashley Rodriguez said. “Our hours got shortened. We close earlier and open a little later. We’re located in front of Mt. Sac and usually it’s really busy, but we barely get a couple customers an hour.”

Ten Ren’s Tea Time

“We have been doing what we can to provide for the neighborhood by making sure our customers and employees are taken care of,” an employee at Ten Ren’s Tea Time said. “We are definitely striving for customers to have a better experience at Ten Ren’s. Business is down and we have faced a lot of setbacks, but overall, people are still coming out to eat here.”

Sources: nytimes.com, covid19.ca.gov, gov.ca.gov
Compiled by Emily Cao, Freda Lei and Sajjan Sandhu

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