Restaurateurs: Fighting for Survival - Alliance to Save the American Dream

Restaurateurs: Fighting for Survival

October 9, 2020 - Victor Rogers

Winter is coming and restaurant owners across the nation are bracing themselves for the cold months ahead. 

During citywide lockdowns, restaurants adapted quickly to save their businesses. From takeout to advertising delivery services, small business owners reinvented their business models. 

As restaurants slowly began to reopen, outdoor dining was essential. Governors reduced or prohibited indoor dining in the initial reopening plans and restaurant owners were forced to quickly adjust to the new rules. On Sept. 30, New York restaurants were permitted to reopen dining rooms at 25% capacity. 

“I just think people feel safest outdoors, and we are wanting to really be able to accommodate them,” Laura Garcia said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. 

Garcia, the general manager of Ninetwentyfive based in Wayzata, Minn., said the restaurant is adding 7-foot-tall heated igloos and retractable shades to trap heat in order to stay in business throughout the winter months. 

The critical changes that businesses are making will be key to keeping their lights on.  For Kim Bartmann, owner of Tiny Diner based in Minneapolis, opting to close for the winter due to the costs exceeding predicted sales was her only choice. 

“Here in Minnesota you can only tough it out eating outside for so long,” she said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. 

In a recent study, the National Restaurant Association predicts that an estimated 100,000 of the 1 million restaurants and bars will permanently shut their doors by the end of 2020. 

These devastating results do not highlight the investment that communities had been making throughout the years prior to the global pandemic. 

According to data compiled by the National Main Street Center from nearly 1,000 communities between 2015 and 2019, it was discovered that U.S. towns with populations of 25,000 or less invested more than $20 billion in public and private funds. This investment led to more than 28,000 new businesses and approximately 106,000 new full-time and 25,000 part-time jobs. 

Small businesses will continue to fight for their survival. One community at a time. 

The Alliance to Save the American Dream is a non-profit organization dedicated to three core goals.

1. Develop an Ideas Factory to give small businesses and industries a centralized place to share innovative ideas that must be considered.

2. Build a unique Resources portal for small businesses to go to for answers or resources that address a wide range of issues or challenges.

3. Offer a new networking opportunity for small business owners to connect while also giving them a platform to share their own personal stories.

For more information, visit 


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