If restaurants are going to weather these storms, they’ll need as much support as you can give ’em.
The past six months have been, to put it mildly, a complete and total nightmare for restaurants and bars—in Greater Boston, and everywhere else too. You may have noticed that we’ve published several dozen articles about not just the problems, but the short-term solutions as well, with servers helping other servers through the tough times, and many restaurateurs doing what they can to keep at least some revenue flowing.
One of the most significant developments over the past several months has of course been outdoor seating and service, with countless patios and parking lots across the region transformed, some at great cost. And as Dig food writer Marc Hurwitz noted about doing the extra mile with heat lamps and party tents:
This option might give restaurants an extra few weeks of outdoor dining, but it may not be worth the extra costs, and it is not a feasible option for places that have relatively little room outside. But it is a possibility for others, especially for those suburban dining spots that have parking lots and a ton of room in general with which to play, though if we end up having an early winter, all bets are off, even for this kind of setup.
And it keeps on getting worse. This morning, following outrageous winds across the region overnight, many restaurants and other businesses have endured the destruction of their external setups. As Cambridge favorite Craigie on Main posted on Instagram earlier today:
This morning [chef-owner] Tony [Maws] woke up to a call from the police telling him to get to Craigie ASAP. After finding the space in complete disarray due to last night’s storm, we’ll be spending today assessing the damage and hopefully try to put the pieces back together.
It’s not pretty, but challenges like these are the reality of what many restaurants are dealing with these days. Outdoor dining is great when it works, but it also clearly comes with many downsides, and is only a loose-fitting bandaid in terms of local restaurants being able to survive the pandemic.
It’s not getting any easier, that’s for sure.
Stay tuned for updates, and keep your fingers crossed. Thank you for your support.
Support. At this point, that’s what it’s all about. If they’re going to weather today’s storm and others that are on the horizon, literal and metaphorical alike, they’ll need as much support as you can give ’em.