By: Kate Luce
The past few weeks have left some Eddy St. businesses either packed or nearly empty, with Notre Dame, St. Mary’s, Holy Cross and IU South Bend students heading back to campus. As the threat of schools getting sent home looms over, Eddy St. is likely to see an impact.
With students back, Five Guys has seen a huge uptick in sales, and for the most part, students are socially distancing and wearing masks.
“The rising numbers of COVID cases on campus are not due to lack of preparation by the campus. This is simply students not following the recommendations provided by the CDC and school at events not correlated with campus. The vast majority of guests who come in from campus are following protocol,” Samantha Kroger, multi-unit manager of both Five Guys locations, said.
Hypothetically, if colleges were to get sent home, some revenue would be lost, but ultimately, it would not affect this location too much
“When the students were sent home before, our community really stepped up to show its support of our business. I think if this were to happen again, the community of South Bend and surrounding areas would show up again for us,” says Kroger.
Chipotle has never been busier with students coming back to campus. Despite Notre Dame’s shift to online classes and the restaurant’s shift to online orders only during the evening, people are still lining up to get their food.
“There are a lot of Notre Dame students coming in, and I think this is because Notre Dame closed some of their on-campus dining, and they shut down The Hub, I think. I heard they have at least restricted hours on [dining services]. If they want their kids to stay on campus, they are creating a situation where it is impossible for them to have meals and go out,” Brandon Taylor, general manager, said.
With the rising number of cases of COVID-19 happening at Notre Dame, Taylor was understanding at first, but feelings have changed as their system was overwhelmed with the outbreak.
“At first, I thought it made sense. There were a lot of students coming back from different parts of the country, different parts of the world, even in some cases. Now, it is starting to get a little frustrating because such a highly allotted college, to have so many resources. You think they would be able to put things in place and have a better safety system for not only their students but faculty and everyone else who has to deal with their presence in town,” Taylor said.
Now, that time has passed, the concern is even more present. The dining room is currently closed, as the majority of dine-in orders are from Notre Dame. The worry of more students and employees catching COVID-19 is present at Chipotle.
While it would be disappointing to see students leave campus. Taylor says that the store would be able to survive with community support.
“If we can kick this thing and nip it in the bud right away, and get rid of all of it. Then, everyone can come in and do dine-in. We would just take a small hit to the business for a few months, the next time students are back in town, we would get double to business with everyone healthy,” Taylor says.
On the other hand, Jimmy Johns has seen a significant drop in the number of customers. Once, this location was one of the busiest locations in the area, but with COVID-19, there has been less of a need to stay open late on the weekends.
According to David Balled, a manager at Jimmy Johns, the store relies on students and the football season to stay busy, but as students stay quarantined and football season may not happen, business might not be as busy as it once was.
With the semester feeling uncertain, some Eddy St. business might face less traffic if students get sent home.