The Old Imperial Hotel in Youghal is endeavouring to provide a semblance of normality to locals during this difficult time by adapting the restaurant side of the business and operating a takeaway service.
Located in the heart of Youghal town, the hotel and adjoining pub is a popular spot amongst locals.
At the helm of the successful hotel and pub are Dan Leahy and Paul McElduff who have had to completely overhaul their business to remain operable at this time.
Dan and Paul are now operating a ‘call and collect’ service from Thursday to Sunday, whereby people ring in their orders, then park up in the hotel car park, where their order is placed in the boot of their car.
“We’re taking every precaution to ensure social distancing is adhered to.
“Preferably we take payment over the phone, or if that’s not possible, exact change upon collection. It’s usually just myself in the kitchen preparing the meals.
“When people come to collect their meals, we place them in the boot of their cars, therefore eliminating as much contact as possible.
On a busy day, The Old Imperial Hotel is preparing up to 200 meals a day.
“People have been very supportive, which we’re so appreciative of.
“We’re trying to provide the feeling of a dining out experience for people at home,” he said.
Dan and Paul were forced to lay off their staff as a result of Covid-19 and the business partners aren’t even making a wage for themselves by operating the collection service.
“It’s really just for our customers and to maintain a presence whilst we’re closed. I’d expect we have a long road ahead.
“It may not be until September when we can reopen,” Dan said.
“It’s been difficult at times, but our customers have been very supportive of us and we can’t thank them enough.”