SAN ANTONIO -- It seems like every industry is feeling the pressure from the impacts of COVID-19. We can all see it unfolding in real time in our own neighborhoods and restaurants.
- Coronavirus affecting San Antonio's restaurant industry
- Layoffs already underway
- Many restaurants relying on takeout
The dining rooms might be empty for now, but the kitchens are staying busy. The San Antonio restaurant scene is really bracing and preparing for what could be a very difficult time in the upcoming weeks or months.
For nearly 20 years, Chef Jason Dady has been a staple in San Antonio's culinary scene. As the owner of several restaurants, he knows all the ups and downs, but COVID-19 is a game-changer.
"You saw the dominoes start to fall where people are definitely taking this a lot more seriously and starting to stay at home," said Dady.
Like many other business owners, he's making some tough choices - quickly.
"We've had to cut back on some staff. At the end of the day when people aren't eating out we can't feed everybody on the staff. So we're doing our very best and that's all we can do at this point and time," Dady said.
For now, the very best is coming in the form of his signature dishes -- takeout style. He and others have gotten on board with Culinaria Restaurant Weeks To-Go. It's a set menu: $15 for lunch or $30 for dinner.
"Place your order, you don't have to get out of your car, just let us know we'll bring it out to you. Wham-bam - it's easy, it keeps you safe, and it keeps the restaurant industry going right along," he said.
Culinaria, the nonprofit group that supports San Antonio's food and wine scene, says it's also getting behind businesses before it's too late.
"It's really shutting down and really hampering the hospitality industry and this is a hospitality town," said Culinaria's president and CEO, Suzanne Taranto-Etheredge.
Along with food-to-go, there's also a fund to help support struggling restaurants.
"We don't want them to have to lay off half their staff, we don't want them to lose people. We really want to be able to take care of that talent that's really contributing to the fabric of San Antonio on an ongoing basis," Taranto-Etheredge said.
"At the end of the day, the hospitality industry has to keep trucking along, and we're doing our best to help promote some meals here," Dady said.