By Carol Robidoux, Manchester InkLink
MANCHESTER, NH – A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, a disruptor that has permanently altered our sense of normalcy, local restaurant owners can’t say enough about the power of their regulars to keep them going through what has been the darkest of times.
“At the beginning, there was such a sense of awkwardness in terms of not really knowing what was going to lie ahead. Everything came to a sudden stop,” says Keri Laman, President of Tidewater Catering Group in Manchester.
“You spend an inordinate amount of time keeping staff calm, and keeping yourself calm,” says Laman, an initial reaction that led to an abyss of uncertainty. When it became clear the disruption to her businesses, which includes Tidewater Catering plus three cafes in Manchester – Waterworks, Unity and Bayona – Laman understood she would be fighting for survival.
By Anna Kate Munsey, NH Magazine
Throughout the past year, many restaurants have struggled to stay afloat given the economic and personal impacts of the pandemic. Support from customers and restaurant-goers is especially crucial to their success during the winter months.
The New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association (NHLRA) recently launched the “Rally for NH Restaurants” campaign for the months of February and March, as this tends to be one of the hardest periods for the state’s restaurant industry.
By Ethan DeWitt, Concord Monitor
Café la Reine didn’t ask for the delivery drivers, but they came by nonetheless.
One by one, workers for Grubhub, a popular mobile app that allows for food delivery orders, showed up at the Manchester restaurant with orders to pick up.
The problem: The café had not entered into an agreement with the app to be listed or partnered. The orders that Grubhub drivers were there to collect had never been communicated to the restaurant itself and assembled in the kitchen.
By Paul Feely, New Hampshire Union Leader
A second year of expanded outdoor dining for businesses in downtown Manchester received unanimous support from city aldermen Tuesday night.
Under the terms of a proposal unanimously approved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, restaurants have until April 30 to apply for spots. Outdoor seating will return along Elm Street from mid-March through Nov. 7, weather permitting.
Last summer, Manchester aldermen voted to join communities across New Hampshire in offering the outdoor dining option to businesses struggling in the pandemic.
By Ryan Lessard, Union Leader Correspondent
Restaurant owners in Derry say they are in survival mode this winter, with a pandemic-related loss in customer traffic that predictably worsened with the loss of outdoor dining.
Until public health concerns subside, the town is doing what it can to remind customers to support local restaurants.
Derry Economic Development Director Beverly Donovan declared February Derry Restaurant Month, and put together an incentive program to encourage diners to visit more restaurants.
By Tony Schinella, Patch Staff
The New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association and Division of Travel & Tourism Development are working together to boost business.
CONCORD, NH -- New Hampshire's lodging and restaurant association has teamed up with the state for a marketing campaign to get Granite State residents to eat out during two of the slowest months for the industry, after already being hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rally for NH Restaurants is an initiative that runs through March to educate the public about the plight of the hospitality industry while also exhorting customers to support local eateries and food establishments in a variety of ways. February and March tend to be the slowest times for the business — with the first quarter always being the slowest time of the year for businesses anyway. The effort is a "joint promotional program" through a grant from the New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism Development, according to Mike Somers, the president and CEO of the association.
"This grassroots movement is exactly the support our devasted industry needs right now," he said. "We know consumers are looking for ways to help our restaurants and their employees. Through this movement, we can all come together to help the foodservice community stay afloat until spring."
Ways and Means Committee told they’ve ‘struggled the most’
By Katie Hoppler, NH Business Review
Currently, New Hampshire restaurants keep 3% of the state’s rooms and meals tax as a commission for collecting it. If proposed legislation gets approved, they’ll keep 5% of collected tax revenue for the 2021-22 fiscal year.
“Our restaurants have struggled the most,” said Sen. Cindy Rosenwald, D-Nashua, Senate Bill 128’s prime sponsor at a Feb. 8 Ways and Means Committee hearing.
Allowing the businesses to keep an additional 2% commission will provide “direct relief for restaurants and have no direct impact to the cities and towns,” Cindy said.
By Katie Hoppler, NH Business Review
Since strict foodservice restrictions were put in place on last March 17, at least 200 New Hampshire restaurants have closed, according to the NH Lodging and Restaurant Association. And. as COVID-19 drags into winter with temperatures not conducive to outdoor dining, many restaurants, continue to struggle. So, in an effort to help them, the association has launched the Rally for NH Restaurants Campaign for February and March.
The campaign, which has a website, and is on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, provides ways for residents and visitors to support local restaurants while also staying safe during the pandemic.
Lodging and Restaurant Association initiative aims to promote industry during winter
By Katie Hoppler, NH Business Review
Since strict foodservice restrictions were put in place on last March 17, at least 200 New Hampshire restaurants have closed, according to the NH Lodging and Restaurant Association. And. as Covid-19 drags into winter with temperatures not conducive to outdoor dining, many restaurants, continue to struggle. So, in an effort to help them, the association has launched the Rally for NH Restaurants Campaign for February and March.
The campaign, which has a website, and is on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram, provides ways for residents and visitors to support local restaurants while also staying safe during the pandemic.
“I will say right now, most if not all restaurants are being negatively affected,” said Mike Somers, CEO and president of the NHLRA.
By Rachel Forrest, Seacoastonline.com
When it comes to braving the winter chill, hardy New Englanders are up for the challenge. However, while outdoor dining at Seacoast restaurants had diners happily enjoying delicious drinks and dishes long into fall, there was a point at which it just became a bit too frosty for servers and diners alike.
The majority of Seacoast restaurants remain open this winter as the coronavirus pandemic drags on, whether it’s for indoor dining or takeout only. In early December, though, came a series of announcements from some restaurants they were closing until spring, “hibernating” until outdoor dining can open once again.
“The writing was on the wall as soon as outdoor dining died,” said Keith Barringer, co-owner of Rudi’s Portsmouth and Rudi’s Market Square with Brook Gassner. Barringer said that they had originally planned to close for the winter on Nov. 28 but extended that to Dec. 10.