Oaxaqueno Tierro Del Sol in Tolleson

Ruth Gomez, owner of Oaxaqueno Tierro Del Sol in Tolleson, said her business has taken a great hit but she is glad the city is taking precautions against the virus. 

Some small business owners are having a difficult time finding the balance between safety and livelihood.

Gov. Doug Ducey ordered restaurants to only offer takeout and delivery options as of Saturday, March 20. 

The city of Tolleson made a similar order two days before. 

Ruth Gomez has owned Restaurant Oaxaqueno Tierro Del Sol in Tolleson for eight months. She said she began to offer curbside service and  takeout only after the Tolleson order. 

Gomez said she has had to reduce her staff considerably, which is hurting her employees. However, she does believe that it is better to be safer and take precautions. 

“It is OK to be more careful, for the employee and customer, but this has taken a hit on us,” Gomez said. 

She noted business has decreased.

“A lot of people prefer to come, sit and relax than take it to go.”

Carlos Rodriguez, owner of Mariachi’s Mexican Food in Avondale, shares some of the same feelings as Gomez. 

He said since he switched his restaurant to curbside service only, he has noticed a decrease in clientele. 

Since then, he has had to reduce his staff and he said he is doing his best to get people paid. Although his business is taking a hit, he said he understands the circumstances.

“It’s going to be a necessity by how things are looking with the virus,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t think there is another way to stop it.”

Rodriguez said he has heard feedback from his customers, and they say they are glad he is staying open. He believes that takeout restaurants or drive throughs should remain open if people are utilizing them to feed their families. 

As for business owners, Rodriguez believes they should keep the safety of the public in mind and do what they must to remain afloat. He does wish the government would help smaller business with some sort of compensation.

“Health comes first,” Rodriguez said. “We need to adapt.

“Once everything is stabilized, the economy of the restaurants will take a hit and we need to figure out how to overcome it,” Gomez said.