Thanks to the pandemic, there’s a new understanding to “seasons” in restaurants

There has long been a rhythm to the restaurant industry. The chaos of late-year holiday rushes quickly dissipates into a short closure, a time for staff to recharge during winter’s business lull. But like everything else in the industry, the pandemic has upended such entrenched routines, Eater reports. It’s more likely now for restaurants to face slowdowns not because of the usual weather changes, but also due to surges in infections from new variants and diners’ seesawing comfort level with eating out (and outdoors). Of course, this poses new kinds of challenges for restaurateurs and their staff. In making decisions on the fly, is it best financially to cut shifts and trim hours or opening times amid the December wave, or to just close shop a few weeks early and wait out the latest variant? At the same time, summer revenue that restaurants relied on to carry them through a late fall slump might fall short. As these past two years have shown, preparation is key. But nobody knows exactly what we’ll be preparing for and when it’s coming. —Matthew Sedacca

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