SPRING VALLEY, Calif. – In a year with no shortage of hurdles, San Diegans spent much of the day Monday waiting to see if their power would go out in a series of planned rotating outages throughout California.
But even as outages were announced as being averted by 8 p.m., the potential of lost power can be significant to many industries, including for restaurants.
Already dealing with state-mandated closures of indoor operations due to the pandemic, local restaurateurs said the uncertainty of the power situation potentially hands down another reason to adjust.
“It’s just another thing that we have to worry about and, for us, what we’ve come to realize that we really focus on what we can control,” said Shawn Walchef, owner of Cali Comfort BBQ in Spring Valley. “We can’t control the heat; we can’t control the coronavirus.”
Walchef’s restaurant went completely digital at the start of the pandemic, offering only takeout and delivery amid the constantly changing state and local health guidelines.
Rolling power outages were set to impact more than 100,000 customers Monday in San Diego County beginning as early as 2 p.m. By evening, it was announced grid conditions had improved and outages were avoided for the day.
For Walchef, the heat isn’t necessarily a new challenge.
“If something catastrophic did happen with the electricity going out, we would have a refrigerated truck to make sure that we didn’t have any spoilage,” he said. “We also have business interruption insurance, which would cover any spoilage.”
The heat wave is expected to last through Thursday. According to SDG&E, outages remain a possibility between now and then.
Officials are recommending to continue using energy sparingly.