CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)– Visit Champaign County announced it will host a takeout themed version of its annual restaurant week next year. But with the level of uncertainty associated with the pandemic, it could be the last.
Many restaurants have already been struggling to keep open, a task that gets harder as outdoor dining ends in colder weather. Allan Strong owns Courier Café and Silver creek in Urbana.
“We’ve tried to keep our staff employed we’ve tried to keep our taxes together. None of our other bills have gone down. Taxes don’t go down, utilities don’t go down, labor doesn’t go down… But the sales have plummeted,” he said.
With the takeout edition of champaign’s restaurant week being months away, many participating locations have the goal of making it to the week. Now more than ever they’re going to need community support to stay safe and stay open.
Restaurants like Caribbean Grill in Champaign have been able to get by by delivering their food through Grubhub and Doordash. They’re encouraging customers to be on the lookout on social media for deals and updates.
The owner says it’ll be a tough couple of months, but they’re prepared.
“We’re just taking it day by day and making sure we’re doing our part to keep our customers, employees and communities as safe as possible.” Mike Harden says.
Others like Courier Café have installed plexi glass, ionic air purifiers and an air filter. But at the end of the day, it’s up to customers to keep their favorite restaurants in business.