Last week marked the first real glimpse of how COVID-19 will cripple the restaurant industry as thousands of New Jersey workers were forced to stay home.
Nationally, the restaurant industry employs over 15 million people. Economic impacts from Coronavirus on the Country’s second largest private sector could exceed $225 billion. This blow also includes an excess of 5 million jobs lost.
In Jersey City, restaurants and small business owners were forced to make hard decisions ever since Mayor Steven Fulop enacted a 10 p.m. the weekend of March 14th.
Some local restaurants were able to offer delivery and curbside options while others, were left with no choice but to close indefinitely.
Last week, Ani Ramen, had a different response to the crisis. The popular ramen house chain provided free family meal kits at its Newark Ave location in Jersey City, NJ on Thursday March 19 (as well as their Montclair and Maplewood). All of Ani Ramen’s locations are dine-in only and subsequently closed following the announce by Gov. Phil Murphy on March 16.
Residents lined up at noon on Thursday to recieve meal kits which served three to four people. Each one included Ani Ramen’s signature broth, fresh veggies and a serving of noodles. The initiative was an act of gratitude towards the community. Staff practiced contact-less pickup, with each guest bringing their own bag.
The Coronavirus outbreak comes just months after Ani Ramen’s Jersey City location opened up its first ever sushi speakeasy, Sushi by Bou. Due to the intimate nature of its omakase experience and the allotted speakeasy space, the chefs directly pass dishes to guests over the counter. (More on that here.)
While Ani Ramen in Jersey City will remain closed during social distancing, you can show support by purchasing gift cards – which the restaurant will match in price. (The first 25 gift cards will receive a free t-shirt.)