On this week's episode of "What's Eric Eating," Bernie's Burger Bus owner Justin Turner joins CultureMap food editor Eric Sandler to discuss how his restaurant is responding to the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Facing a decline in revenues to less than 10 percent of their usual level, Turner closed three of Bernie's four locations and laid off most of his staff.
Turner acknowledges that Bernie's might not survive in its current form, but he's still optimistic about his future. Essentially, as long as he has his knives and his skills, he'll figure out a way to earn a living in the restaurant industry.
I might not be as happy go lucky as I normally am, but I'm totally motivated. I've got an 8-year old child that I have to take care of. I've got a new wife, well soon-to-be wife, and two kids. I want to contribute to our household. I'm going to do something.
The beautiful thing is I can cook. There's not a lot of people who do cook. If burgers aren't the answer next week, we might be doing enchiladas and pupusas and Lord knows. I don't give up.
Prior to Turner joining the show, Sandler and co-host Matt Harris discuss some of the ways diners can support local restaurants and the people who operate them. Their tips including ordering to-go meals from restaurants, buying gift cards, and supporting organizations like the Southern Smoke Foundation.
In the restaurants of the week segment, they discuss some of the places they've been ordering takeout, including Riel, Pizaro's, Kenny & Ziggy's, and Romano's Pizza.