Good evening everyone and happy Monday evening. It’s a new week and a fresh start. Let’s begin it with positive thoughts and the courage to tackle any obstacle ahead of you. You know, one thing that I have missed so much during this year long pandemic has been going out to dinner. Can you believe that we have been in this craziness for an entire year. Wow. I mean in my heart I felt like this would have been over much sooner than this. Anyway back to my story. My husband and I just love going out to eat. We were regulars at several restaurants in out area. We really have tried to be patrons at locally owned restaurants rather than the chains. Do you do that in your area? Are there a lot of family owned restaurants where you live? There are several here. We live in what we call the Tri-cities. We are within 10 to 15 minutes of 3 cities and each city has its own unique set of locally owned food joints. These owners work so hard to make your dining experience as perfect as possible. I just cant imagine being consumed with those worries and having little to no time off.
Over the last couple of months most restaurants in our area have opened back to at least half capacity. We have begun to get back out some and it’s sad to say that a few of the local restaurants were not able to survive the closure. The ones that did survive informed us that they wouldn’t have made it if not for carry out. We did order from several places for curbside and I am so thankful that we did. There is a true family owned Italian restaurant in our area where we frequent. I know the owner and he and I spoke that last time that we were there. He said that his typical Christmas season was full of parties and in years past were booked so full that they literally had to turn parties away. This year he had none. NONE. Due to the restrictions of large gatherings, the companies that typically used their restaurant for parties did not book this year. How sad is that. I know that we have all complained about how hard Covid has been on us personally but, think about how very difficult it has been on these restaurant owners. His words to me were “if things don’t pick up, I’m not sure how much longer we can do it”. I cant imagine not being able to go there for dinner. I was just so sad and I wished there were something more that I could do.
This isn’t the only restaurant that this is happening to. Another place in our downtown area where we were frequent fliers has not been able to get the “normal” staff back to work. Because of this the service is completely different. The last time that we visited and were able to get a table, the service was not very good as we waited more than an hour for our food. The usual bartender is there no longer and the replacement needs a few more lessons. The menu was cut in half which was due to being able only to seat at half capacity. It’s just not a winning situation. Because I really love their food and atmosphere, we will go back but, I know many others who will not. This in return could cause them to close their doors. You see it’s not just the lack of patrons that can cause the closings. It’s the lack of good workers that can cause patrons not to come. If the pandemic hadn’t happened, the wonderful employees would have been able to stay and it would have been great business as usually. Folks working in the food industry typically can not go months without a paycheck, They have to move on to something else.
Wouldn’t it be great if we all as a country came together and really just whole heartedly supported local restaurants? Can you imagine how wonderful it would be if we poured as much time and energy in to our businesses as we have with all of the political garbage and pandemic fear. They would just thrive. Now please don’t get me wrong I am not a person who believes that the virus isn’t real or isn’t terrible. I’ve know too many people that have had it or even lost loved ones due to it. I’m not at all saying it should be ignored but I am saying it is time to start helping our brothers and sisters in the food industry. Maybe I am strange but, I actually love to see people succeed. Think about this, as I have said before, pretty much everything that we do revolves around food. It does. Family get togethers, food. Date night, food. Birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations, food. Staying in for movie night, food. Everything that we do at some point there is food. So instead of running out to a chain and grabbing a taco or a burger why not try to order from a locally owned restaurant. Most all have curbside and take out if you don’t want to dine in. I just feel like it would make a difference if we all gave it a try. Before you say it, I understand that some of the local restaurants are more expensive than your typical drive through but most of them are running take out specials and I promise that 99 percent of the time the food quality is so much better. Besides if you are eating your lunch out every day at a chain drive through by the end of the week you’ve paid out enough to have one good meal at a locally owned restaurant. Grab some cans of soup or a loaf of bread and some deli meat to take for lunch. The reward of the “good” meal is definitely worth it.
I hope that this has given us all something to think about. Is there a local family waned restaurant in your area that you would just hate to see close? Do yourself and them a favor, call in some take out or if you feel safe visit them for your dinner this week. Tip the staff. Remember they may have not been able to bring home a paycheck during all of this. Grab a gift card or two to have to give to someone from these places. Support your local folks. You will be so glad you did. We live in the greatest country in the world. It’s a country where we can do anything t all if we believe we can. It’s time we start smiling on and supporting our brothers and sister in the restaurant business. I hope that you will this week. Have a wonderful evening and a blessed rest of the week. ❤️Always