BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — After Kern County moved back into the purple tier, rest tired, restaurants across the state are trying to adjust to this new normal. One business has been busy helping them adapt despite their own challenges.
"We're just trying to help them keep their doors open which is helping us to keep our doors open."
As some restaurants move their operations outdoors ahead of the winter months, many eateries are needing new outdoor amenities, and Ron Holbert of Joronco Rentals says his company is busy helping out
"Today we did a 20 by 60 with a hardwood floor. Walls on it. I had a staff of four that was there for about five hours, so about 20 labor hours."
Holbert says there's a lot that goes into keeping customers warm while they dine in.
"We're insulating the clients from the coldness of the ground. We can do AstroTurf. We can do a rubberized flooring, and then we can do a hardwood floor."
They're also setting up heaters outside the tent, and Holbert says they are unique during times like this.
" We are not re-circulating that air inside the tent. It's always pulling fresh air from outside and putting that into the tent. Some heaters only circulate the air that's inside the tent or in a building, so in our case, it's always fresh air in."
But despite being busy, business is still down for Holbert who opened his Joronco back in 1983, and his staff has felt the impacts the most.
"We had a staff in March of 22 installers and now we're down to four."
Holbert says they still feel blessed to have the work, and as far as the tents go, he says despite some criticism, he believes they are safe during the pandemic. The tents are not sealed, which he says allows circulation inside them.
"You have people that say oh were outside in a tent and it's got walls on it all the way around, so what's the difference of being in the building? Well there's still fresh air that's coming in outside, and so the restaurants are able to cope with that and stay in compliance and still give you a safe environment."
And as you can imagine this is a long process restaurants go through each day.