Businesses hit hard by lunch-hour outage

By Matt Butner - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The outage left businesses in the dark, during lunch hour. Restaurants were hit especially hard-- many had to close and turn away customers. Now, they're scrambling to catch up and worried about the bottom line.

When the lights went out, so did the customers along Robinson Street in the Fan.

"We had to close the restaurant of course, because once our computers go down, we've got nothing," said Bridey Garber.

Bridey Garber tends bar at Curbside Café. She says empty tables are a rare sight at lunch time. But, it could have been worse.

"Wednesdays aren't as busy as other days, but unfortunately there were some customers we had to turn away," she said.

Just up the block at Wack Salon, owner Lee Reynolds scrambled to re-schedule clients who lost out on a lunch hour style session.

"When the power goes out - our computer system holds all of our contact numbers, so when that's done I can't access my clients' numbers," Reynolds said.

Reynolds turned to social media sites Facebook and Twitter to keep customers in the loop.

"People start to re-tweet 'Wack Salon's power is out,'" he said.

By the time the power returned to Robinson Street, the lunch time crowd had thinned out, and the damage was done.

"We're talking hundreds of dollars in that time frame- in those two hours," said Reynolds.

"It depends on the day. It can affect us anywhere from $500, maybe more," Garber said.

At Curbside, a lost lunch can't be recouped. At the salon, Reynolds and his staff have gone into recovery mode.

"Now what we do is get our computer system back up, contact everybody and move them back into empty spots that we have available in the next week or so," Reynolds said.

All of the businesses affected are taking their losses and moving on, only slightly the worse for wear.

"If this was a Friday lunch or something, it would have been pretty bad," said Garber.

"I was looking for us to be in the dark all day, and I was very pleased when it came on very soon after it went off," said Reynolds.

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