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Chef Mamusu: 'We can’t fall apart. We have to survive.'

Posted at 11:56 AM, Apr 14, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond restaurants are changing the way they operate in order to stay in business. CBS 6 created We're Open to shine a light on these small businesses in an effort to support business owners and their employees.

In an interview with Antoinette Essa, Chef MaMusu shares how she plans to keep Africanne on Main open. A lightly-edited version of their conversation is transcribed below:

Antoinette:
Can you tell us what it is you’re doing and what you need to do to stay open?

Chef MaMusu:
As you know we have been open for the past 25 years and we have never experienced such a drastic decline in business in such a short space of time. We re-opened the restaurant adhering to the CDC guidelines on social distancing and allowing only three people in the restaurant at a time.

And the way it’s set up you call it in (804-343-1233) 20 minutes before. Then you can come in and pick up your order.


Antoinette:
Are you having any specials that you’re offering the customers?

Chef MaMusu:
We are doing the regular menu, two meats and three sides for $12. And of course, we have the vegetarian dishes. You can go on the website then we will have a special and all you have to do is click the button and have a daily special.

Antoinette:
How long can you do this? How many customers does it take to keep you open?

Chef MaMusu:
I will need a minimum of 70 orders to keep me open in order to pay my employees and be able to replenish it. I need at least 70 meals per day to keep me viable.

I would like to thank all of my customers over the years that have patronized the restaurant.

We’re still selling the best food ever, all of your favorites and catering also, the large pans of greens, we also have family menus, you get eight meats and three large sizes for $24.99.

It’s soul [food] with a touch of African to it, but we do have traditional African dishes also that we prepare.

We have to figure out how to survive through what we’re going through. We can’t break down. We can’t fall apart. We’re in it. We have to survive through it.

Chef Mamusu's Africanne Restaurant
200 E Main St
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 343-1233