Columbus restaurants and bars are hoping Restaurant Week will help them bounce back as COVID-19 continues to hurt sales.
A recent poll from the Ohio Restaurant Association found 80% of the state’s restaurants don’t anticipate breaking even this year. Columbus’ Wolf’s Ridge Brewing is one of them – they closed their dining rooms except for private events because of the spike in COVID-19 cases.
Bob Szuter, co-owner of Wolf’s Ridge, hopes Restaurant Week will boost sales, and show off their new outdoor dining space.
"We’re looking forward to it, to bring people down to see what we’re doing, but also to showcase how we can give them some good food and help support the business and our staff through the food delivery and carry out," Szuter says.
While it won’t be the same as last year, Szuter says the event happening at many restaurants around the city will help make up for declining sales experienced by most restaurants around the state.
"We’re trying not to focus too much on what could have been and what was, and rather focus on what we can control and move forward," Szuter says. "And hopefully folks will come out and support restaurants like ours."
The Ohio Restaurant Association's most recent poll of owners around the state found that while 80% of restaurants have reopened their dining rooms, most are operating at less than half their normal capacity. And 44% of restaurants believe they will be forced to close within nine months if they continue to operate at their current capacity.