Kamel Jamal owns three restaurants in Beacon – Tito Santana, Ziatun and Beacon Bread Company – as well as Angelina’s in Cold Spring. He is trying to keep some of his places open for curb service during the Coronavirus, even as the state bans on-premise food service.
In this interview, Kamel talks about how he and his staff are handling the situation, offering food specials and planning a bread line.
“I’m not trying to make money,” he says. “This pandemic gives us an opportunity to feed a small community that relies on us. For Angelina’s it’s affordable food that can feed all walks of life. We dropped prices on everything. I’m just looking to get by and make sure that two months, six months, whatever it takes… we’re able to open our doors again. There’s a lot of companies that are start up mom and pop shops that are not going to be able to bounce back.”
Kamel says business survival during the coming period will come down to communication with employees, customers and suppliers – including property owners. He advises fellow everyone who is currently in desperate circumstances – both entrepreneurs and employees – to speak with their landlords immediately.
“Whether you’re a business owner or you’re an industry person that’s living paycheck to paycheck, it’s important that you communicate with your landlords. You have to have to be verbal. You are not alone. I spoke to every one of my landlords. [I tolde them] rent is frozen. It’s either that or you can take the keys. If they can’t understand that they’re going to be floating down their own river by themselves, these landlords. People shouldn’t be afraid with the rent situations. Right now it’s surviving.”