Restaurants could go dark three days a week as COVID pressures increase: exec

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Dining establishments are curtailing hours or temporarily closing as the latest surge in COVID-19 hits Chicago, one restaurant owner said.

Frank Ruffalo, managing partner of Franco's Restaurant Group in Chicago, said the establishments are dealing with manpower shortages due to COVID; customers who would rather eat at home and confusion over the city’s requirement to check a customer's vaccine status.

Some restaurants are limiting the number of days on which they are open.

"I'm seeing an unprecedented number of restaurants closing Monday-Tuesday or Monday through Wednesday," Ruffalo told the Noon Business Hour on Thursday.

He expects that trend to continue.

"It's going to come to a certain point where you're not going to be able to go out to eat in the city of Chicago Monday through Wednesday,” Ruffalo said.

He added that restaurant traffic dropped off in the week before Christmas, as the Omicron variant started to take hold.