MONROE, La (04/27/20) — A month ago, Catfish Cabin only had about 10% of their business be to go orders, now, it’s 100% of their business.
“The first two weeks of this, we were down maybe 75%…now it’s come back the last few week we’re doing 40% of what we normally would do,” said Russell Hearn, President of Catfish Cabin.
And after closing the dining room and letting employees go, they applied for the CARES act to get a loan and rehire staff. “We got the form from the treasury department and filled it out, it was very simple two page form and we thought it was gonna be really easy. As it turned out, it became almost like making a regular loan,” said Hearn.
But the process to get the money from the CARES act took a little longer than expected because Catfish Cabin has never borrowed any money from the bank, it was like they were a new customer and had to start fresh.
“They were supposed to release money starting on Friday and it was the latter part of the next week…I think we got ours Tuesday and Wednesday,” said Hearn.
Hearn says the CARES act money allows him to hire all of his employees again and pay them for a full time job even if the hours aren’t always full time right now. And while the money is helping keep up business, it poses a problem in the future if all the employees don’t come back.
“When you have 25 full time employees and then all of a sudden two won’t show up or won’t come back, you’ve got to scrounge around to get that number back up so you can get that loan forgiven,” said Hearn.
Catfish Cabin says while it’s been a big learning curve to serve everything in to go orders, they’re happy to serve a community they love and have the money to re-hire their workers and produce the best food possible.