Coronavirus lowering crawfish prices while seafood restaurants forced to adapt

Crawfish sellers adjusting to life during coronavirus pandemic

(WAFB) - It’s the first weekend in a new way of doing things.

And for many, it’s the first Friday of Lent where people are unable to sit in their favorite seafood restaurants for dinner.

However, people are starting to get creative.

While dining rooms of restaurants across Louisiana are closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, drive-through crawfish stands are still packed with customers.

“Can’t stop me from eating the crawfish, we love them,” said Lisa Taylor of New Roads.

Cars lined the new Boiling Branch on Hospital Road in New Roads Friday.

"And they (customers) can take it, go home and eat it, sit here in the parking lot and eat it, do whatever they want. So it's fitting the need right now," said Chris Blades with Four Oaks Farm Crawfish.

Four Oaks Farm from Morganza recently opened the joint.

They sell both live and boiled crawfish.

Blades says the prices have dipped for the mudbugs because of the coronavirus outbreak.

"Restaurants aren't buying crawfish right? So your crawfish are sitting in the cooler, you either got to try to move them by dropping the price, or you have to put them back in the water. And by doing that you're losing money," said Blades.

Meaning there’s probably a lot of supply out there.

"I do miss with the ladies going out to breakfast and so forth, but we're surviving," said JoAnn Melancon.

Meanwhile, over at the Ma Mama’s Kitchen, the typically packed dining room is empty, and they’re forced to adapt.

“We’re doing something we call trout Ashley. It’s a pecan crusted trout with a meunière sauce. We’re doing that, we’re doing our fried catfish, fried shrimp,” said Donna Ewing, the owner.

Ewing has owned the place for 22 years, and has never seen anything like this in the restaurant business. She's hopeful the restaurant can stay afloat.

“This is like a depression. I can only relate, this must be what it would’ve been like,” she said. “There’s no groceries on the shelf, very few things of necessity on the shelf, and people are terrified.”

And many restaurants are in that same position. Just taking it day by day, and trying to get past the pandemic.

The bars and restaurants will be forced to remain closed until at least April 13,

But, remember, a lot of your favorite restaurants are doing take out or delivery, so give them a call to see.

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