COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – Nearly a year after everything changed because of COVID-19, Chuck Williams spoke to some of the restauranteurs that took the hardest hit.
Trevor Morris and Stephanie Woodham have been fighting through all these challenges. They gave insight on the struggles of last year and the hopes for the future.
Woodham is a partner in three downtown Columbus restaurants — Smoke Bourbon Grill, Black Cow and Vertigo Fusion Kitchen. She said her public relations degree from Auburn University prepared her for the COVID crisis.
“This was very, very, very, very much a crisis,” she said. “In the restaurant industry, every industry. The whole world is in a crisis, clearly. I do believe my experience and my knowledge of crisis PR allowed me to accept it, plan for it and deal with it the best I could. …It was just pivot, pivot, pivot.”
Morris, 36, has been working in the restaurant industry for 20 years. He has owned restaurants for the last eight years, including Trevioli Italian Kitchen and Trevioli’s at The Rapids downtown.
“This is all I know how to do,” he said. “There were days when it was like, ‘If this doesn’t work out …’ I took a job for a little while around Christmastime doing construction for a guy that I know. … It was for about six weeks. It was, ‘like when is the restaurant business going to come back?'”
The Chuck Williams Show streams on WRBL.com every Tuesday, 7 p.m. EST.