LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The economy has been slow to recover from the pandemic here in Arkansas, and there is a sector of it that is still struggling, restaurants.
Discussion on the state of small restaurants here in Arkansas happened in the public health committee today.
While some have bounced back to a degree the industry as a whole is still suffering greatly.
Restaurant owners testified at the capitol today to let legislators know that conditions are dire and the industry will need help until consumer confidence has returned enough and a vaccine allows for attitudes about eating out to change.
Chris Tanner owns three restaurants here in central Arkansas cheers, Samantha’s, and the newly opened oyster bar and he says it has been difficult to wade through those waters because so many owners are trying to take care of their employees as best they can and that juggling the needs and limitations that they face are talked about daily.
“It’s not easy, it’s everyday conversations, a lot of what-ifs. We’re just thinking about different scenarios and what’s gonna go down, we thought about what’s happening right now. We’ve thought about ‘hey when it gets cold, we need to do this, this, and this.'” said Christ Tanner. Owner of Cheers, Samantha’s, and Oyster Bar.
Tanner says that outdoor dining is about to soon be obsolete and that restaurants will likely fall further into the hole with this being the first cold snap of the year.
Tanner does encourage Arkansans to get gift cards this holiday season from their favorite restaurants so even people who are not yet comfortable going out to eat just yet can hopefully do so soon.