▶️ Local restaurants talk indoor-dining benefits; improved revenue, happy staff

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Even at a limited capacity, the ability to offer indoor dining seems to be benefitting local restaurants.

“It’s a lot different when you get the actual environment and you get to hear the music, sit down, and enjoy a hot meal,” Nick Stanitsas, Kefi Fast Fresh Mediterranean co-owner said. “It’s been great.”

“Eating outside when it’s windy and cold and rainy, it’s just not pleasant,” Sean Lampe, Immersion Brewing co-owner said. “I think people are appreciative that their food stays warm for a little bit longer than 30 seconds.”

Stanitsas says most of Kefi’s revenue still comes from take-out, but indoor dining has its perks.

“You can kind of up-sell sides of fries a little more because you don’t have to drive home with your side of fries and have them get soggy,” Stanitsas said. “So, there are certain things we weren’t selling as much of, now we can sell a little better.”

Immersion Brewing has also seen improvement from its outdoor-dining-only days.

“Nothing compared to this time before COVID,” Lampe said. “But, it has definitely been a lot more revenue coming in over the past week.”

Kefi has not had to limit staffing.

Immersion Brewing is at about 33% of the staff they had pre-pandemic.

However, one thing the employees of both restaurants have in common is the excitement to be back to somewhat-normal.

“The major thing that’s changed is just everyone’s attitude,” Stanitsas said. “I think everyone is a lot more happy and excited to be here. There’s a real energy in here, so I think people can actually experience that when they sit down.”

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