DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Several Dayton restaurant owners said they took a hit when Ohio’s mask mandate took effect, but they are slowly seeing business return.
The owners said they had to really get creative in order to stay afloat, and are still relying heavily on patio diners and online orders.
Table 33 owner, Charlie Carroll said his restaurant traffic constantly ebbs and flows depending on coronavirus case numbers and state orders.
“There’s a definite noticeable difference with the mask mandate as to people that are coming out,” said Carroll. “On any given day, we’re doing about 40 or 50 percent of business we were doing.”
Carroll said to survive, they started family to-go meals and are thankfully seeing a sharp increase in patio diners.
Steve Tieber at Dublin Pub agreed about the patio’s benefit, adding he’s thankful for the city’s increased outdoor dining program.
“We were able to add about 80 seats, and each of these tables are 10 feet apart, its not even just six foot, there’s so much space out here,” said Tieber.
The City of Dayton said Dublin Pub is one one of the 14 applications received for the outdoor dining permits. They said of those 14, 11 have been issued and three are pending. There are also three pending. There are also four applications in the process, pending submission. A spokesperson said in a statement to 2 NEWS,
“The process for outdoor dining permits have been running smoothly. Businesses who have obtained a permit have been pleased with the City’s quick turnaround and support of these expanded spaces. Additionally, these permits have made it possible for businesses to continue to serve their customers amid the pandemic.”
Tieber said online orders have also helped which now account for about 25 percent of Dublin Pub’s business as opposed to the normal 10 percent. But he encourages those ordering carryout or delivery to order directly from the restaurants website
“All third party delivery systems they take a 20 to 30 percent cut of the check, so if you order 100 dollars worth of food, restaurants are only seeing 70 dollars of that,” said Tieber. “Of course then you’ve got food costs, labor, all of that, there’s not much left over. In fact it may be a loss.”
Carroll said they have a loyal base, but have seen some compassion fatigue as the pandemic continues. But he said in Dayton, as seen in other cities in the midst of serious revitalization, that support is crucial for not only these small business owners but the ongoing redevelopment of downtown.
“The developers are down here because restaurants went first and we want retail to follow,” said Carroll. “It all rotates and evolves around people getting good local food in the downtown area, so (support) is extremely important.”