While the restaurant industry is ever-evolving, no one could have prepared for a year like 2020. Restaurants struggled to pivot, utilizing all possible resources and grants to survive the pandemic. It was a challenging time for owners, operators, and patrons too, and a learning experience to say the least.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, we’re happy to be heading in a positive direction. But waking up on May 29th didn’t mean everything went back to business as usual. A return to normalcy is what we’re all eager for, but this will certainly take time. As we emerge from the pandemic, we’re hoping for more kindness, understanding, and patience for the restaurant industry as it adjusts to a new normal. Some things to keep in mind:
- Be patient with restaurant staff. Everyone has a different level of comfort right now. Not everyone has been vaccinated and safety is still of utmost concern. While restaurants are navigating the new changes, there will understandably be mishaps and we encourage you to be understanding of that.
- Tip extra, when possible. Many restaurant employees have been out of work. Some are just now returning and many frontline workers have been in precarious situations. Restaurants have had restricted capacities and employee hours were cut. The road to recovery may be long and a little bit can go a long way. If your budget allows, a little extra will be appreciated.
- Make a reservation. And keep your reservation. Part of a restaurant’s success is keeping things organized, and being able to prepare is key. Knowing an estimate of the number of diners can help correctly staff the restaurant. A reservation gives the restaurant a good heads up as to what their day will look like. And if you make one, please keep it or call in advance to cancel.
- Consider restaurant catering for your next event. If you’re planning any summer get-togethers, birthdays, or celebrations, look to your favorite local restaurant for catering. A thanks to your community will be very appreciated.
- Buy gift cards or merchandise. One small but impactful way to support the industry is to purchase additional items they’re selling. If you’re a fan of the restaurant, consider a gift card for a friend’s birthday to spread brand awareness while also giving back.
Helping small businesses recover from the pandemic is of great importance. Aside from dining out once in a while, making some of these efforts can really help restaurants and other businesses stay open. Let’s do our part.