Local restaurants find ways to adapt with cooler temperatures on the way

NOW: Local restaurants find ways to adapt with cooler temperatures on the way


SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- So many business industries, during this pandemic, have been hit very hard. The restaurant industry, especially local eateries, having seen the worst of it. Navigating their strategies to keep the doors open, while keeping customers safe has been a fluctuating challenge. 

One option restaurant owners everywhere have utilized and been reliant on is outdoor seating.

Dining outside encourages safe social distancing and allows restaurants to bring in enough customers at a time to keep them going during this new normal. 

But, as cooler temperatures come back to Michiana the restaurant industry is set to face another set of challenges. 

Challenges Chicory Cafe Phil Schreiber thinks they will make it through if residents dine locally.

"Please go to your locally-owned restaurants and other businesses so we can get by and continue to pay our employees," said Schreiber.

It is a message you have heard once or twice from business owners across Michiana. Doing business locally so they can stay open during this new normal. 

Adjusting to a pandemic has not been easy for restaurants, but warmer weather from the summer brought about a crutch. The ability to seat people outside and keep them safe has been enough to keep a number of restaurants open. Now that cooler weather is quickly approaching the outside seating is set to end until spring. 

"Now that the weather is getting bad and people are coming inside we are trying to find more room for them," said Schreiber. 

The cafe, like other restaurants in the area, is doing everything they can to adjust to Covid-19 and safety guidelines. Schreiber tells me they are enforcing and offering free masks, providing hand sanitizing stations, social distancing, and other plans to combat the cooler weather. 

"Fortunately, with the banquet facility, we actually can put overflowed people in and still keep them socially distanced," said Schreiber. 

With all the unknowns moving forward, head barista of Chicory, Cat Diaz says customers and staff are ready to adapt to keep things moving forward during the winter.

"We have harder safety precautions with Covid, but other than that nothing has really changed. People come here and eat food, drink their good coffee and enjoy themselves," said Diaz. 

As winter approaches, local restaurants again will be calling on residents to help keep the doors open.  

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