Scramblers forced to close amid crisis; carry-out sales not enough

Published: Apr. 6, 2020 at 10:07 PM EDT
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Some local favorites have been forced to close amid this pandemic. Restaurants who bank on dine-in sales have been hit the hardest, and when carry-out sales don't cut it, they're forced to shut it down, at least for now.

One of the restaurants in that exact situation is

. All Northwest Ohio stores are closed for now, including the fast-casual option City Egg, which is newer to downtown Toledo.

Empty coffee cups and seats, it's what no breakfast spot ever wants to see. But, it's the new reality at Scramblers.

"The fear is actually more powerful than the patriotism. So, as much as people want to support their local businesses and we appreciate it, they're afraid. They're afraid to go out," said Scramblers president Shain Buerk.

At first, the restaurant attempted to carry on with carry-out only, but those sales weren't enough to justify staying open.

Ultimately, Buerk made the tough call to temporarily close.

"When the income is zero you can only pay the payroll, pay the light bill, pay the rent for so long," said Buerk.

"It made sense, and I think it's safer for everybody," said Maumee store general manager April Turkeli.

Turkeli has been with the company for four years. She's now gone two weeks without a paycheck and has filed for unemployment.

"It's nerve-racking, very nerve-racking," said Turkeli.

Buerk is determined to take care of his people. While all 175 Northwest Ohio employees are currently off the job, he's promised a bonus to managers when they get back to work, and Scramblers is currently supplementing any government assistance.

"Scramblers is awesome. I mean, we keep in touch. They keep in touch with us all the time and they'll be, you know, they help us. They're always there for us," said Turkeli.

For Buerk, while the uncertainty of right now is a challenge, his larger concern is what happens when they do get the green light to open up once again.

"If there's one thing you can do to support local restaurants and our economy, it's that. It's when it's time, don't be afraid go out and live," he said.

While no one is immune to the virus' impact, Buerk hopes the fear will soon stop spreading.

"That can't stop life. We have to go back living because that's what makes life worth living and that's the engine that drives the economy that allows us all to keep living," said Buerk.

Buerk said as soon as the government allows it, Scramblers will be back in business.