When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March of 2020, local Lincoln, Nebraska restaurants have struggled, pivoted, and have worked hard to combat the impending economic crisis brought on by having to shut down and limit capacity. The effects have been layoffs, reduced sales and tips, and some restaurants have made the difficult decision to close for good.
El Chaparro, a local Lincoln restaurant, is working hard to recover losses from the pandemic. Thanks to their supportive customers and the help of their long-term relationship with the Lincoln-Lancaster Public Health Department, things are looking up, but the struggle is not over yet.
El Chaparro’s COVID-19 Story
El Chaparro is an authentic Mexican restaurant that has been owned by the Ortega family for over three generations. They offer outstanding food and service, and the atmosphere is always friendly and upbeat. For over 22 years, El Chaparro has always been active and seen as a big part of the Lincoln community. The Ortega family all take a large role in creating an incredible and long-lasting authentic Mexican restaurant experience for the people of Lincoln and its visitors.
When the pandemic hit El Chaparro in March, their family saw the unfortunate effects that COVID-19 had on their customers, community, and their own family and employees. Due to these effects and the safety of their customers, that they care for so deeply, El Chaparro closed its doors while they figured out the next steps.
How El Chaparro Came Back
Everyone was affected by this shut down, but the Ortega family knew that they needed to safely return in order to keep their multi-generational family business open.
Together, the Ortega Family and the Health Department came up with a plan to ensure to all customers that health directives were being followed. When visiting El Chaparro, the safety procedures that have been implemented include:
- Plastic dividers between booths
- Plastic dividers at the register
- Requirement to wear face masks for staff and guests
- All surfaces, utensils, and dishes are sanitized regularly
- Hand sanitizing stations for customers
Cindy Ortega-Sanchez and the Ortega family have missed seeing all of their regular customers, but are excited to have safely opened their doors to the community and welcome everyone back.
The Power of Connection
To the Ortega family, it means everything to see people come back to their restaurant, whether that’s dining in, delivery, or carrying out. El Chaparro is committed and will prioritize your safety through their COVID-19 guidelines and procedures.
As being a part of a local family business, Cindy encourages all community members to visit local restaurants to show support. She says, to help our local restaurants to thrive, we need to work together and commit to recovering Lincoln.
You can register your business, like El Chaparro, by pledging to be a business that is committed to safely recovering our Lincoln economy and community. Or you can access the business directory which lists businesses who have pledged to recover Lincoln together by following directive health measures.