Mass. eating places going into ‘hibernation’ this winter amid pandemic

0
511

Some Massachusetts restaurant owners are choosing to close their businesses for the winter due to the coronavirus pandemic. Outdoor dining will be restricted due to the colder weather, and in Boston in particular, the customer base is significantly smaller due to people working from home. “The year was just a roller coaster ride of emotions. Business has not returned to normal. We are still below 80% of daily sales,” said Bessie King, who with her mother owns and operates the Villa Mexico Cafe in the financial district. For these reasons King is one of the restaurant owners who will go into hibernation. “We’re still hooked on our rent. This won’t stop. But at least heartbreaking as it is, we’re going to save money on payroll, gas and electricity,” King said. The Grand Tour at Back Bay is another restaurant in the greater Boston area that is closed for the season. Several restaurants in the Boston area are opting for what is known as hibernation, including the Grand Tour in Back Bay. However, owner Michael Serpa is moving Grand Tour staff to his new Atlantico restaurant, which has a larger space that complies with state guidelines for indoor dining. “If we run the space the way it would be in winter, we would just lose a huge amount of money,” said Serpa of Grand Tour. “We decided to bring everyone from there, which was great. Then I also had to bring back other staff that we had before that couldn’t come back yet.” More than 20% of restaurants in Massachusetts are estimated to have closed permanently due to the pandemic, and industry leaders fear the number could increase by up to 50% in winter. “A lot of operators in the greater Boston area really thought people would be returning to the US by Labor Day.” City to work, “said Bob Luz, president and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.” But when schools didn’t reopen, it was a ripple effect. “Luz and restaurant owners are calling for help from Washington in the form of stimulus packages and grants instead of debt more credit, as many restaurant owners say they are already in deep school.

Some Massachusetts restaurant owners are choosing to close their businesses for the winter due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Outdoor dining will be limited due to the colder weather, and in Boston in particular, the customer base is significantly smaller due to people working from home.

“This year has been just a roller coaster ride of emotions. Business has not returned to normal. We still have less than 80% of our daily revenue,” said Bessie King, who with her mother owns and operates the Villa Mexico Cafe in the financial district.

For these reasons, King is one of the restaurant owners who will go into hibernation.

“We’re still hooked on our rent. This won’t stop. But at least heartbreaking as it is, we’re going to save money on payroll, gas and electricity,” King said.

The Grand Tour at Back Bay is another restaurant in the greater Boston area that is closed for the season.

Several restaurants in the Boston area are opting for what is known as hibernation, including the Grand Tour in Back Bay. However, owner Michael Serpa is moving Grand Tour employees to his new Atlantico restaurant, which has a larger space that complies with state guidelines for indoor dining.

“If we run the space the way it would be in winter, we would just lose an enormous amount of money,” said Serpa of Grand Tour. “We decided to bring everyone from there, which was great. Then I also had to bring back other staff that we had before that couldn’t come back yet.”

It is estimated that more than 20% of restaurants in Massachusetts have closed permanently due to the pandemic, and industry leaders fear that this number could increase by as much as 50% over the winter.

“Many operators in the greater Boston area really thought people would be returning to town to work by Labor Day,” said Bob Luz, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. “But when the schools didn’t reopen, it was a ripple effect.”

Luz and restaurant owners are asking Washington for help in the form of stimulus packages and grants instead of more credit as many restaurant owners say they are already heavily in debt.