Absurdly Driven usually looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Restaurants are just trying to survive.
They're hoping for some better day that may -- or may not -- arrive within weeks or months.
They're hoping their former staff are still around and want their jobs back.
They're also hoping customers will return with confidence.
But what should restaurant owners prepare for? How much will things change? How will they have to alter the dining experience? And what sort of customers will return?
The truly sad and disturbing closure of a San Francisco restaurant indicates just how difficult for restaurants the future will be.
Like so many, Cassava was open for takeout, both at brunch and dinner.
It found enough business to keep staff employed. Yet, a few days ago it suddenly closed. And the reason may be grounds for despair.
Owner Yuka Ioroi said the city's lack of enforcement of shelter-in-place and face-covering rules have created an unsafe environment for her staff and patrons.
"I realized that I would be a hypocrite to condemn the city for not mandating mask-wearing, companies not appropriately protecting their staff as they should, and others not adhering to the SIP order during the weekend if I didn't also ask our beloved team to stay home," she wrote on Cassava's website. "If we stay open we may be creating another reason for people to go out when they could stay at home."
She said people would pick up their food not wearing masks. This wasn't compulsory in San Francisco at the time, but many people were still doing it.
Ioroi's customers, she said, weren't even observing the shelter-in-place order.
One group asked for takeout utensils, and I said, 'Aren't you guys going back home? That's the law.' But they said, 'Oh no, we're having a picnic.'
I live in the Bay Area and we haven't had the incidence of confirmed Coronavirus cases seen in New York.
This has caused a schism. Some people are still observing the social distancing rules. Others believe it's so much nonsense. They'll ride their bikes in tight packs and expect you to get out of the way.
Ioroi explained that, ultimately, it was her staff's discomfort at the nonchalant behavior of customers that forced her to close.
Her story reveals just one aspect of the extremely difficult path any restaurateur will have to tread if they want to re-open -- or, perish the courage -- open a restaurant for the first time.
A restaurant owner has the right to expect certain levels of behavior from customers. Without, that is, being a police officer.
Moreover, how can a restaurant owner be confident of getting back to business when some medical professionals are suggesting another outbreak will be along shortly?
The future for restaurants is enormously treacherous and it's one that every restaurant owner should thoroughly consider right now.
Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom painted a macabre picture.
When restaurants begin to re-open, he said, they would be forced to only have half the seats they used to.
The servers would be wearing gloves and masks. Menus would be disposable. Guests would have their temperatures taken before entering. And, of course, no hugging your favorite proprietor or server.
It is, of course, understandable. But who really wants to chat to a server through a mask? Who, too, believes that the restaurant experience they know will be even remotely replicated in any sort of near future?
Restaurants often operate on very small margins. They're built on emotions around food and service. If the staff is dressed a little like a critical care worker, if the owner suddenly resembles a surgeon and if the customers are reluctant to observe new health rules, what sort of experience will it be?
I feel sure one aspect of this crisis is that people will be desperate to get out of their houses.
But what will they really want to do? Go to a newly-clinical restaurant or just walk in the fresh air for miles and miles and miles?
Clarification: A previous version of this column suggested that it was customers' actions that resulted in Cassava owner Yuka Ioroi's closure of the restaurant. According to Ioroi, the cause was San Francisco's lack of enforcement of rules for sheltering in place and wearing face masks.