TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – It’s no secret that the pandemic and fluctuations in supply and demand have had a significant impact on the restaurant and accommodation industry across the country. But what does that mean for Florida in 2022?
“This year, 2021 has been another challenging year,” said Dannette Lynch, director of membership for the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. The pandemic wiped out restaurants across the country. And after a lack of products and staff, it’s hard to believe that many companies found a way to stay open. Some were not so lucky.
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According to the National Restaurant Association, approximately 90,000 restaurants closed permanently. And despite any recent gains, the overall staffing level remains well below the industry standard, with 84% of owners saying the current staffing level is lower than the pre-pandemic level.
“But this is such a robust industry, and they’ve learned to be so creative,” Lynch said. Those working in the hospitality industry expect a boost back in 2022.
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Roberto Torres is a vital part of this industry with a group of small businesses across Tampa Bay.
“We’re finding ways to connect with our customers,” said Torres, who owns a Cass Street Deli in Tampa, among others. On the verge of a new year, he is optimistic. Not only did he get creative in the face of a pandemic, he plans to open an additional store in the coming months.
“Even though it was a very hard year for everyone, for me personally, it was an opportunity, you know, it was a teaching moment, it was an opportunity to train us for things that are important. And the things you can do without , ”Said Torres.“ Business owners always find a way to thrive and succeed. As long as there is a drive. ”
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“The outlook for 2022 looks really positive. I think the challenges they have faced have given them a new perspective and a new perspective on what to expect,” Lynch said.