Unplugging the nation’s economy, even temporarily, has had an astounding effect on independent restaurants across the country. For hundreds of thousands of restaurant operators out there, this has been a period of extreme frustration, agonizing decisions, fear and stress.
But for many it has also been a time to embrace family and community, an opportunity for innovation and a chance to reset.
We wanted to hear your stories, so we asked operators across the country to share dispatches from the front lines. We’re sharing them here, and updating with more every week.
These chefs and restaurateurs walked us through how they approached decisions with no right answers. Some overhauled their business models to keep the doors open. Others decided to temporarily close entirely. Many were forced to cut staff. And those that were able to keep employees working faced heightened responsibility around their personal safety. They also shared how they’re coping personally, and what future they see for their businesses and the industry.
The stories here display the courage, resiliency and generosity of those in the restaurant industry.