HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Zippy’s has announced it is resuming its dine-in services, beginning with a single location ― Makiki ― on Monday.
The dining room, which used to be open 24 hours per day, is now welcoming customers from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Once patrons enter, there is a hand sanitizing station and a mandatory temperature check.
"That was pretty cool, the way they had things set up in different stages for people to come in, get your names and stuff, and come in and do the screening," said customer John Kaneakua from Papakolea.
Plexiglass dividers are up between the booths. Customers scan a QR code with their phone to see the menu, or can choose to look at a disposable one.
“I love their oxtail soup, Zip Pac. I always order here every night,” said McCully resident Felicia Malaoa.
Dining rooms on Oahu were allowed to reopen more than five weeks ago.
"That's another reason we took a really slow approach, not only to be safe, but also to be able to see if our customers felt confident to come out and sit down in a Zippy's restaurant," said Daniel Ito, communications and social media manager for FCH Enterprises, Inc.
Zippy’s parent company, FCH Enterprises, Inc., also operates other businesses, including A Catered Experience and the Pomaikai Ballrooms, which shut down last week.
"With no clear direction from the local government on when we can gather in large groups again, it was just really hard to keep a business like that going," explained Ito.
Officials said FCH Enterprises’ revenue has plunged between between 50% and 75%. The company was one of 20 Hawaii organizations that received Paycheck Protection Program funds in the highest bracket, between $5- and $10 million.
"We were able to utilize that by keeping a lot of our staff employed, which really meant offering them medical, and during a pandemic, I think that was the right thing to do," said Ito.
90% of the federal money will be used for payroll, according to the business. Officials said about 300 of the company’s more than 2,000 employees still had to be laid off.
The next Zippy’s dining room to reopen will be the Vineyard location, on July 20.
The company hopes to resume dine-in service at all of its locations by November if there are no major changes with the pandemic.