The Mandarin House Asian Fusion in Payson, like all other restaurants in Rim Country, has seen its revenues drop off along with its customer base because of the coronavirus. And when all restaurants in Gila County had to close their dining rooms following the diagnosis of the first confirmed coronavirus case in the county, restaurants had to lay off or furlough employees.
“I employ 13 people and I’m down to five, now. And I’ve had to cut hours,” said Kevin Bailey, who manages The Mandarin House Asian Fusion with his daughters, Jennifer and Rachel.
“We were doing great, but we’re off about 55% of what we were doing when this started about 45 days ago, or right around March 1.”
But the business isn’t closed. Customers can still use their pickup, curbside or delivery services. Delivery services costs $5-6 depending on distance.
Visit paysonmandarinhouse.com to order or call 928-474-1342.
The Mandarin House Asian Fusion is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m Sunday. They are closed on Tuesday.
And you’ll see their food cart around town. The cart is parked in front of True Value Hardware, just south of Walmart on State Route 87 until the end of April. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The converted hot dog cart offers Dan-Dan with either chicken or beef for $6 for a small and $12 for large, Lo Mein with chicken or beef for the same prices, $6 soup and $1 drinks.
They may move after that, but they’re not sure where. They bought the restaurant on Jan. 1, 2017, opened for business in April of that year and started using the cart that same year.
They had shown up regularly with the cart at senior care facilities such as Payson Care Center, Rim Country Health and Powell Place, but they aren’t setting up at those locations these days.
“The coronavirus has made it tough to put the cart in front of the hospital or care centers,” Kevin said. “They don’t want anything there causing people to congregate.”
He believes they’ll eventually return to those locations.
“I think we’ll weather this storm,” Kevin Bailey said. “Hopefully, we’ll open (the dinning room to customers) by the first of May. We’ve had quite a few regulars come out and get their favorite sushi roll, or stir-fry, or appetizers.”
He said they are working on applying for COVID-19 small business assistance. He said only those businesses with an established relationship with a bank can get express financial relief. But he’s optimistic brighter days are ahead.
“I think we’ll get through this even if we can’t get assistance in a timely manner,” he said.
The Mandarin House offers a variety of dishes including nine appetizers, 12 sushi options, 21 stir fry, four soups, three salads, six fried rice and seven noodle dishes.