Amid depression pandemic, bay area restaurants struggle to stay open – CBS San Francisco
BERKELEY (KPIX) – Restaurants have struggled throughout the pandemic and many were hoping this holiday season would give them a boost. Last year, restaurants were getting ready to prepare holiday meals to go. This year, in-person meals are back, but the question is: how long can restaurateurs continue to serve?
Thursday night at the Revival Bar and Kitchen on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley was busy, but business has not returned to pre-pandemic levels.
“This industry has definitely been hit by the pandemic,” said chef / owner Amy Murray. “They say half the workforce is gone and that’s what it feels like.”
Murray added that customers are slowly coming back but staff are still a problem. When asked how stressful it was, she replied, “It’s horrible. It’s horrible, but we’re really lucky to have just enough people to organize a dinner service right now.
The dinner service does not pay all the bills. Murray has sought to bring back what worked during the pandemic, such as gifting holiday meal and cocktail kits. The key will be to open for lunch and weekend brunch.
“In January, I hope we can add the 10 very good quality hires so that we can increase our hours again because the landlords want their rent. Everyone is at the end of their patience. We want to get back to normal, ”Murray said.
Murray believes news of the omicron variant has yet to impact his business. What she has noticed is the reluctance of people aged 60 and over to dine out. Small businesses like his are just hoping that the New Year brings more diners as well as the staff to serve them.