A cautious first day of reopening for island restaurants

District Manager Jeff Munos runs five Wendy's restaurants on island.

It seemed like a cautious start for the re-opening of dine-in services on May 29. Friday morning. Some restaurants decided not to open at all while others, like Denny’s in Tamuning, didn’t open until noon.

And there was no long line of customers waiting to get into the Wendy’s at Guam Premier Outlets, but PNC did find a few who took the plunge.

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Lucy Lauron and her mother Lydia were the first in the door at the Wendy’s restaurant at Guam Premier Outlets this morning and they were the only ones to come in and sit down.

Lydia said: “We came from the laboratory and I’m hungry and I read in the paper that this is open. So that’s why we came.”

Lucy said: “I think if the proper protocol is set in place we should be OK. Life still goes on and the economy still has to move as well. And they’re doing it in other countries in the world, slowly and surely with the appropriate protocol. We’re impressed by the fact that as soon as we came in, they made sure that everything was clean.”

District Manager Jeff Munos runs five Wendy’s restaurants on island.

“It’s been tough, but we had to deal with it. The biggest thing is that the staff was afraid. Management was afraid. Some employees would say I don’t want to work. I don’t want to catch this thing, so …,” Munos said.

When PNC asked whether he had to cut hours or lay people off, Munos answered: “Yes we did. We never laid anyone off. We never terminated anybody, but yes, we did cut hours.”

The staff are now trained in the art of deep cleaning every table after customers leave.

“Deep cleaning means we use our sanitizer and we leave it on the surface for 15 minutes, then we go back and wipe ’em down.”

When PNC asked what’s required for customers who want to come in for a sit-down meal, Munos answered: “Just a facemask and social distancing. As you can see, we have our tables. We have our signs and everything on the tables that’s closed and we have our signs where people would wait and get in line. We all have to put down the stickers and stuff so they can keep the social distancing.”

Customer Lydia Lauron added: “We just have to be a little bit more careful. There is more data to say we’re a little bit safer. It’s not over yet. I think this is going to be with us for a while. But not forever.”

It will still take some time, said Munos, for people to trust dining-in again and the drive-through line today was still much longer.