Your Views: Your favorite places need you during restaurant week

Your Views: Your favorite places need you during restaurant week
(Photo Credit: K Summerer for Visit Alexandria)

To the editor:

Restaurant Week starts on Friday and runs for 10 days through Jan. 30. If there was ever a time that your local restaurants needed you, it’s now.

Omicron, supply chain issues, staffing shortages and higher food costs have combined to create a huge new challenge to our restaurant community. Nationally, the Independent Restaurant Coalition reports that nearly 60% of restaurants reported that sales decreased by more than half in December 2021. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund has been exhausted, and of those without access, one in four restaurants face eviction and nearly 50% face bankruptcy.

Fortunately, Alexandria has fared better, in large part due to community support and adaptations by our restaurateurs and their staff. Expanded curbside pickup, meals to-go and outdoor winter dining are all widely available to us. If you choose to dine inside, remember to mask up when not eating, and thank your restaurant for the widely practiced spacing and vaccination standards they have implemented.

However you choose to participate, this is the week to step up and make sure that our restaurant community stays strong and knows that we have their back. Thanks and bon appetit!

-Patricia Washington, president and CEO, Visit Alexandria