Restaurants still experiencing impacts from the pandemic

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 10:46 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - It’s been more than three years since Covid-19 effectively shut down restaurants for months.

Since the pandemic, some establishments in Charlottesville have thrived, while others have been forced to close their doors.

After fourteen years – Fry’s Spring Station is closing its doors. Owner PK Kamath says post-pandemic, the industry has changed.

“The biggest thing here is just trying to maintain the volume you need to stay in business while still maintaining that expense side of the equation,” Kamath said.

He says the equation he is talking about involves making enough money to offset the rising prices of labor and food.

“I’ve talked to other restaurant owners at least once a week... everybody’s dealing with the same thing,” Kamath said.

Fry’s Spring Station is a full service model.

“You come in, sit down, you’re seen by a host, and you have a server that serves you,” Kamath explained.

He says this type of restaurant has taken the biggest hit post pandemic. His proof lies in the success of his other restaurant, Ivy Provisions, which allows for faster ordering and takeout.

“A lot of people order online before they even come they show up and pick up their food out from the window or the counter,” Kamath said.

Moe’s Original BBQ also has this quick service model. Owner Derek Bond says his restaurant’s been doing great since COVID-19.

“Honestly, we’ve seen a boom,” Bond told NBC29 News.

Bond says not having a server at his restaurant makes a huge difference, and that overall, customers still want the same thing.

“I would say the service staff is the hardest staff to retain and to find, and to train,” Bond said. “People want a great experience, they want good food and they want, you know, a happy person taking care of them.”

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