Many Stoughton businesses have seen a drastic reduction in foot traffic as cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin have continued to rise – to 47 as of Monday, March 16.
At the Koffee Kup owner Ken Gulseth said he has regulars who support his business, but he expects to be in for a rough ride.
“It is going south,” Gulseth said. “(Business) is starting to slow down a lot.”
On March 15, Dane County ordered all food establishments to cut capacity to 50%, with a maximum of 50 people. That meant Gulseth had to remove 20 of his downstairs seats.
“That hurt – that hurt more than the scare of the coronavirus,” he said.
Now there is no room for people to sit, but Gulseth said he understands the pandemic is out of his hands. Social distancing is crucial to prevent the spread of the disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Culver’s has closed its lobby to the public and is allowing only drive through customers. Deak’s Pub and Grill plans to start a temporary delivery business, not only to provide food for their customers in the Stoughton area, but also for the employees with reduced hours.
On a Sunday, March 15, Instagram post Wildwood Cafe announced it will be closing for this coming week.
“As people in the hospitality industry it feels very foreign to shut our doors, less because we’re losing business and more because we’re losing daily interaction with people with whom we receive so much joy serving,” the post reads. “But we know it’s the right thing and we will reevaluate in a week and keep you posted.”
And Fosdal’s Bakery will only be open for curbside pick up of pre-ordered bakery goods.
Ruby Sekhon, owner of Quick Stop on Hwy. 51, said he has owned Quick Stop for 15 years and has seen a reduction of traffic across the major thoroughfare.
Although it is difficult, Sekhon said, he believes customers understand that it is necessary and the limitation of public contact is the right thing to do.
“In a way I am very happy that people are responding to this in the right way and taking steps to contain it. And it is very encouraging,” Sekhon said.