As many business owners across the country have begun the slow process of reopening their doors, none have had to be quite as careful, attentive and patient as those in the food service industry.

Locally, safety procedures have had to be even more thorough with the high prevalence of cases in Lyon County. Despite this, owners like Sam Singh of Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs and Emporia Family Fun Center, 1004 E. 12th Ave., realize just how fortunate they are to be able to continue serving the community after persevering through the initial outbreak.

“This whole thing has been tough for everyone in different ways, but we were mostly good,” Singh said. “I would say we were about 70 percent [of regular sales]. We were able to continue the deliveries like we always do and being able to do curbside helped a lot, too. For us anyway, there were very little in the way of shortages. It was a time when most of the area grocery stores were running, the other big needs and lots of things in general. We actually started helping the community by offering meat by the pound and also bread, which went pretty well.”

In an effort to keep providing meals and even entertainment in the realm of mini-golf, batting cages and go-karts, Singh and his staff have been adapting to a detailed list of precautions outlined recently by Goodcents corporate leadership.

To begin promoting sit-down dining and increased hosting, each Goodcents location in the Emporia area will include sneeze guards at the register. The sandwich-making line now has directional signage to promote social distancing measures, and self-serve items have been moved behind the register for customer safety.

Employees will have access to masks and other forms of PPE should they prefer, and are required to complete a wellness check prior to each shift, which will include several rounds of deep cleaning to the store’s most frequented areas. Finally, tables have also been arranged to adhere to spacing requirements, and several have been moved to outdoor areas for additional seating options.

“With putt-putt, we’ve been making sure to give every player their own club, and that helps us be able to make sure we sanitize all the equipment and balls when they’re returned,” Singh said. “We hope to open that up to more people soon, the same with our go-karts. We’re hoping for some nice weather this weekend too so we can really focus on cleaning the karts, their steering wheels, belts and all of that. We want to open those up as soon as possible and the batting cage, too, when we’re able. People will be looking for something to do this summer, and we want to be a place where they can come to have some fun and relax a bit.”

Realizing that one of the biggest factors in attracting in-person diners will be a matter of instilling confidence in visitors at large, Singh hopes those looking for a place to grab a quick meal — or a safe place to meet up with friends and family — will heavily consider paying him a visit. In addition to fresh food, Singh’s store also offers frozen meals of pasta and other hearty dishes which can be bought in bulk; something which has risen in popularity over the past few weeks.

“We want to be here for the community, and a big part of that is providing a place for people to start meeting again,” Singh said. “We’re going to make sure we keep everything clean, we’re going to keep wearing our masks and gloves, we’re going to encourage people to socially distance and we’re going to listen to what the health department has to say.”

Goodcents Emporia is open from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily. To call in orders, or for questions on the availability of golfing and go-karts, call 343-3100. Orders can also be placed online at goodcentssubs.com.

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