ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Restaurants are creating plans to keep guests coming back as temperatures begin to drop.
Tents and heaters have been installed at McGeary’s Irish Pub to keep customers warm. Owner Tess Collins is preparing for yet another challenge for the restaurant industry.
“We’re just trying to do the best that we can,” Collins said. “Some bars are having a harder time than me because I do have a lot of people who come out every single night and sit outside, where other bars are already feeling the crunch,” Collins added.
Industry experts anticipate up to 85 percent of independent restaurants will close down by the end of the year due to the pandemic.
McGeary’s has found a lifeline in a winning Buffalo Bills season. It’s a popular haunt for fans to come out on game day, but fans are divided on where they’ll watch the game.
“I’m going to sit inside where it’s nice and warm,” said Bills fan Robert Wise.
“I’ve been sitting at the outside table. I’m going to keep doing it until they tells us that we can’t anymore. So we’re going to try to be out here the entire season,” said Bills fan Ed Lass.
Ralph’s Tavern has folded up its outside tent.
“The heat that was coming in from the heater just wasn’t enough. We didn’t feel that there was enough customers coming out to stay in the tent. A lot of the customers wanted to be inside,” said Manager Rachel Gautheir.
Gautheir said the restaurant is now focused on indoor service.
“A lot of people that are working here, this is their sole job. They’re looking for extra income because they’re worried now,”Gautheir said.
“Nobody is really making money. Everybody is scared about the bills being so high,” Collins said.