Restaurants are notoriously slow on Labor Day weekend. As they struggle financially, here's how you can help

Elaina Athans Image
Thursday, September 3, 2020
Push to help struggling restaurants during slow Labor Day weekend
The weekend is hard during normal times, let alone during COVID-19.

Labor Day is notoriously slow for restaurants.

Folks head out of town to the mountains or beach to enjoy the last days of summer. The weekend is hard during normal times, let alone during a pandemic.

"It's frustrating and a little bit scary," said SOCA Owner Sean Degnan.

There's a big push to offer support this holiday weekend.

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Many restaurants have made major investments on the properties to help lure in more customers during COVID-19. SOCA built a pergola on the patio at add extra outdoor seating. Yet, small businesses are still struggling to fill tables and bring in revenue.

Degnan posted a plea on social media begging folks who are staying in town this weekend to dine at restaurants.

"I do think it's make or break," said Degnan.

Small businesses are battling compounded problems.

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First, there was pandemic shutdown. Then, they reopened at 50 percent capacity.

There was looting and destruction during protests at the beginning of the summer and restaurants have also been cushioning several curfews because of the demonstrations.

"Most of us are surviving off of a PPP loan that was based on two-and-a-half months' worth of payroll, and we're six months in. We've spread that money about as far as we can spread it and until there's more relief, we're living off of less than 50 percent sales," said Degnan.

Several restaurants are on the brink of closing and others have already made the call.

K&W Cafeteria and Cameron Bar and Grill are some spots that have folded.

"It's tough to see people packing it in because they don't see an end in sight," said Degnan. "Whatever money they have saved, they need to keep it for themselves and their family I guess."

Restaurateurs and small business owners alike are hoping for another round of federal help to ease the financial burden.

Until then, you can support them by going out to eat this weekend or getting food to-go.