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Restaurant traffic is back up after taking a hit in the pandemic but they face new challenges

Owners say it's a struggle but they're optimistic
Posted at 6:08 PM, Apr 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-09 19:08:36-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Many restaurants had to shift to take-out orders only or they completely shut down last year at the height of the pandemic. Now that much of the restrictions are lifted, businesses are able to get back to normal but it's still a struggle to see the same traffic as pre-COVID-19.

"There was times we didn’t know if we were going to be able to pay the rent and luckily we were able to get some help through the government to take care of that for us, but it’s still going to be a struggle. We’re still struggling every single day trying to get new customers in," Tammy Wright, owner of Therapy Bar and Grill said.

Although it's a struggle they are seeing more people come in. Wright says they are thankful for their loyal customers and their recommendations to their friends.

While customers are starting to come back, restaurants face a new battle. Zoe Olson, Executive Director of the Nebraska Restaurant Association says businesses are now struggling with staffing.

"Restaurants are having increased traffic but now they have to say I don’t have the workers to staff, so what do I do? Am I going to be open fewer days, am I going to lessen my hours? What can I do to make sure that we still get that great guest service no matter how many people we have in our restaurant," Olson said.

Wright says she's optimistic about the future.

"We all hope that everything is going to get back to normal and business is going to be back on the rise and we’ll have even more customers," Wright said.

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