It never was easy to run a restaurant. In 2019 the failure rate for new restaurants was around 60% and a vast majority would fail within 5 years. Crazy business to be in, huh?
Enter Covid. You take a serious small business problem and put it on steroids. For months, many restaurants could not even operate. Staff was laid off, as the bank accounts dwindled. Then Summer came and there was some relief. In our area, many of the restaurants have put up pavilions allowing patrons to eat more safely outdoors. It is quite pleasant, reminding of my earlier days living in Europe. But I digress.
With Winter, the series problems re-emerged. Capacity for restaurants is limited, meaning that even on good days they are not be able to seat enough people. And on bad days tables will remain empty.
Is there any glimmer of hope here? In fact there is. When things look worst, sometimes you can turn the problem to your advantage. My wife and I live outside of NYC. Over the years, we always enjoyed getting out for music, movies, theater and other arty stuff. In this time, we are starving for anything cultural. Along came the Station House Wine Bar in Stratford. They offer up great food, sushi, and best of all, live music! Jazz some days, Karaoke other days (don’t care much for this) and some guy singing Frankie tunes on the weekend. We live there on Thursday nights, when a trio plays cool jazz. We have invited all our friends and it is becoming quite a hot spot. They are doing all they can do make the environment safe for patrons, who continue to come for the ambiance and food.
Many restaurants will not survive this horrible plague. But some will do well and may even thrive. If they identify the needs of their customers and serve them well. Join us some day at the Station House, we know that you will love it!