Businesses seeing signs of hope as restaurants begin to reopen

The coronavirus pandemic is still wreaking havoc on the restaurant industry, but after months of struggles, some businesses are starting to see some small signs of hope.

“I’m definitely cautiously optimistic,” explained Bo Davis, the CEO of Fairfax company MarginEdge, which collects real-time sales info from more than 1,200 restaurants across the country, including about 300 in the District, Maryland, and Virginia.

Download the FOX 5 DC News App for Local Breaking News and Weather 

“DC metro area restaurants saw in the first two weeks of COVID a drop of 83 percent in sales, it was like a cliff, and then since then we’ve seen steady week-over-week sales recovering and have gotten as high as 41 percent in the most recent week as we’ve seen people come back out to eat,” Davis said. “We’ve seen a steady climb up, not sharp but [a] climb. So instead of a V shape recovery it’s looked a lot more like the Nike swoosh – heavy drop in the beginning and [a] gradual long climb out.”

Davis added that restaurants may start to see somewhat normal sales by September if things stay on the same track.

It’s welcome news for restaurant operators like Bethesda Crab House General Manager Yen Lee, who said that while weekend sales have been good, weekdays continue to be a struggle.

“We just happen to be fortunate that we do a lot of carryout, but other than that, you know, it’s rough.” Lee said. “It’s not easy.”