Restaurants predict major uptick in business once restrictions are lifted

OCEAN CITY, Md. – Restaurants are gearing up for a big weekend after Governor Larry Hogan announced all indoor and outdoor restrictions will be lifted on Saturday, May 15. “It’s been a God sent for us. People have been cooped up forever, they’re ready and excited to get out,” says food and beverage manager of the Castle in the Sand hotel.
It’s been over a year of restrictions and guidelines for restaurants in Maryland, and some tell us, it really made business difficult. However, on Saturday the day will come that they’ve been waiting for, carrying on with business without strict guidelines. However, there are still some concern they want addressed. “If they got rid of the federal unemployment, I think that would help everybody out in Maryland,” Phil Houck, owner of Bull on the Beach .
Houck also tells us, staffing shortages have been an on going issue not just in Ocean City, but everywhere. He says not only that, but combined with food shortages, and misunderstanding customers, it makes influxes of business a little more difficult. Everywhere else in this town is in the same boat as us,” says Matt Staloney, a kitchen manager at Bull on the Beach. “I just hope that people are understanding on the business cause there are most likely going to be more shortages of food cause everyone is going to be ordering the same thing with more people coming in.”
Although this has been an on going problem, Ocean City restaurants say at the end of the day, they aren’t going to say no to more business. Some restaurants may thrive, while others might have some catching up to do. Which they say customers will need to understand. “I really think we’re going to get crushed I really do, it’s gonna be a good season for all of us,” says Hicks.
Even with things looking up for restaurants, they say they still have a long way to go but this summer could potentially put business back on track.
“I think we’re going to have an excellent year,” says Houck. Staloney also adds, “I believe it’s going to be a busy summer, probably one of the busiest ones ever. Everybody wants to go out and enjoy themselves finally with restrictions lifted, and it should happen.”
Now owners tell 47 ABC, with colleges letting out, they’re hopeful they will get more help this summer to keep up with the predicted business.
Restaurant restrictions will be lifted starting Saturday, May 15. However, masks are currently still required at indoor venues. Governor Larry Hogan also says, he plans to lift the state’s indoor mask mandate when 70% of residents have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
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