Heat Wave Taking Toll On Restaurant Kitchens

Our heat streak doesn't want to let up -- and it’s testing restaurant owners and employees, reports Ern Hassanzadeh (2:15). WCCO 4 News At 10 - June 10, 2021

Video Transcript

FRANK: However, some indoor spaces simply can't stay cool. WCCO's Erin Hassanzadeh found out how the heat is keeping some professionals out of the kitchen. She's live on the rooftop of Britt's Pub in Minneapolis right now. Hi, Erin.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: Hi, Frank. Yeah, our heat streak just doesn't want to let up, and it is testing restaurant owners and employees. We saw some announcements online today, restaurants saying they were closing early or closing for the day because the kitchens were just too hot. But we also found some people toughing it out.

GUSTAVO ROMERO: This is actually feels really nice right now.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: You know the old saying.

GUSTAVO ROMERO: If you cannot stand the heat, you get out of the kitchen.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: But that wasn't an option for Gustavo Romero and his team at Nixta in Northeast Minneapolis when the AC went out on Saturday.

GUSTAVO ROMERO: I think the heat wave just kind of break everything.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: He closed the shop Thursday while the AC was fixed, but he's been working without it. The kitchen, topping out at nearly 100 degrees.

GUSTAVO ROMERO: You know, it's really hard to have people to work in these conditions.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: The AC was out here for almost a week, and even hours after the crew came to fix it, the thermostat is still at 92 degrees. That meant taking lots of breaks, drinking lots of water, and when that didn't work, hitting the cool down spot.

Plenty cool here at the Lexington Bar in St. Paul.

We should just have on our menu that we have air conditioning, because right now, that's about all people care about.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: A little different story in the kitchen, but nothing too unusual for this crew.

BILL COY: Got the air conditioner cranked as high as it'll go. And then these guys are drinking an awful lot of water.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: Even as the sizzle outside matches the one in the kitchen, a few people couldn't help themselves.

BILL COY: Minnesotans are desperate to sit outside. We have had people call, you know, is your rooftop open? I'm like, yeah, if you want to sit closer to the sun.

ERIN HASSANZADEH: And obviously, people out here tonight enjoying the rooftop, not deterred by the weather, Frank, but the pandemic supply chain isn't helping things either. We've been telling you about it this week, but AC units, parts to fix them are also hard to come by, so that's another complication here.

FRANK: Yes, adding a little bit to the misery Erin, for sure. All right, thank you.