San Antonio Chef Stefan Bowers Posts COVID-Related Struggles — and His Peers Are Here For It

San Antonio Chef Stefan Bowers Posts COVID-Related Struggles — and His Peers Are Here For It
Instagram / battalionsa
Chef Stefan Bowers of San Antonio's Battalion, Playland Pizza and Rebelle at the St. Anthony Hotel took to Facebook Monday to candidly share his frustrations about the ongoing pandemic's impact on his businesses.

The post comes as cases of the coronavirus in Texas hit record numbers.

Bowers' post covers his woes with the federal Payroll Protection Program, the costs of personal protective equipment and the dissolution of working relationships with staff as they choose unemployment over coming back to work. And a lot more. 

“Restaurant takes on added cost of PPE and supplies,” Bowers wrote, chronicling one of many issues a restaurant owner deals with as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. 

“4x the use of gloves, daily menu printing, disposable face protection … multiple mobile sanitation stations, disposable wares … etc. Restaurant increases prices on menu — customers complain or don’t return. Restaurant keeps prices the same — charges a COVID-FEE, customers complain or don’t return.”

With almost 200 comments and 225 shares of the original post, local chefs are lauding Bowers for vividly sharing his struggles as a hospitality business owner. Many said they strongly identify with his words.

“This is a perfect summary,” said chef Leo Davila of Catch the Wave in a post sharing Bowers' thoughts. “For all of my friends that want to bash the industry without being in the industry ... read this.”

In a situation where restaurant owners feel damned if they do open, and damned if they don’t, Bowers’ perspective is a poignant reminder that many are in the difficult position where guest contact is essential for success in the business they love but impossible in today's world.

“We (small biz owners in the hospitality industry in particular) have been hit the hardest in all this and get judged the hardest,” Tim McDiarmid of Tim the Girl and The Good Kind said in a Facebook post sharing Bowers’ words. “It’s really disappointing. We get bad reviews both ways around… We are rarely making money at the best of times. We do this for love.”

So many restaurants, so little time. Find out the latest San Antonio dining news with our Flavor Friday Newsletter.

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Nina Rangel

Nina Rangel uses nearly 20 years of experience in the foodservice industry to tell the stories of movers and shakers in the food scene in San Antonio. As the Food + Nightlife Editor for the San Antonio Current, she showcases her passion for the Alamo City’s culinary community by promoting local flavors, uncovering...

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