WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Winter Restaurant Week is underway in the Nation’s Capital, and while all restaurants are not participating, nearly all restaurants are in need of help.
It is no secret that the pandemic caused crisis for restaurants, but over time restaurant owners said it has gotten worse and worse.
Jamie Leeds, the owner of Hanks Oyster Bar, said, “It has been incredibly hard, painful and all of the above.”
Leeds described this period of time as getting punched in the gut over and over.
She said, “Thinking that ’21 was going to be the worst part of it and now it feels like it’s even worse, because we are one hundred percent vaccinated as a company, and people are getting sick.”
Luckily, federal assistance helped Leeds keep most of her businesses alive up to this point. However, not every restaurant received funds, and many owners are still hoping the Restaurant Revitalization Fund will be replenished by Congress.
“We’re operating in the red still, and I don’t see that changing for at least another year,” Leeds said.
On top of numbers that are already tight, restaurants are seeing essential supply costs go up. Leeds said that cooking oil, for example, has gone up forty percent.
Leeds said if restaurants are not given more support soon, there will be more closures.
“We’re going to see a lot more closings coming up. Your neighborhoods are going to start looking different,” she said.
If you want to help your neighborhood restaurants, you can go to saverestaurants.com.