PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The hospitality industry continues to struggle to make full comeback amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant and food service sales fell by $240 billion in 2020.
Locally, Discover the Palm Beaches has a plan to highlight the culinary scene. From Aug. 16 - Aug. 31 the marketing agency will host The Palm Beaches Restaurant Week.
Pistache French Bistro is participating in the event.
“We have a lot of retuning guests,” Christian Wiebel, Pistache French Bistro said.
Wiebel says March of 2020 was an end of season he’d never forget.
“We were lucky to only be closed for two months,” he said. “Most of our employees came back when we reopened.’
According the the National Restaurant Association more than 10 percent of restaurants have permanently closed since the start of the pandemic.
“We’re still facing a lot of challenges in the industry, historic labor shortages and we are counting on travel to return,” Jodi Cross, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association said.
Discover the Palm Beaches says one goal is to ramp up summer visitation to local eateries.
“Over 110 restaurants, food tours and other culinary experiences all over the county,” Jorge Pesquera, President of Discover the Palm Beaches said.
Stage Kitchen and Bar in Palm Beach Gardens opened one month before the start of the pandemic.
“I was looking at this gorgeous dining room and seeing empty seats everyday. It broke my heart,” Pushkar Marathe, Chef and Co-owner of Stage Restaurant said.
When they were allowed to reopen business got better. Marathe says they are offering lunch and dinner prefix options, the goal is to get new customers in the door.
“Discover the Palm Beaches putting this together, can’t be more thankful and we are really fortunate to even be open and able to participate in this restaurant week,” he said.
For a full list of restaurant week deals visit https://www.thepalmbeaches.com/restaurantweek.