Savannah’s restaurant industry continues to adapt amidst pandemic

Savannah’s restaurant industry continues to adapt amidst pandemic

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah’s restaurant industry continues to adapt and change amidst the pandemic.

“If you would’ve asked me March 15th of last year if this would’ve gone on as long as it has, I wouldn’t have believed you,” said Jamie Durrence, managing partner at Daniel Reed Hospitality.

Jamie Durrence, who in addition to leading the Georgia Restaurant Association’s executive committee also helps lead Daniel Reed Hospitality here in Savannah, says success in the restaurant industry during the pandemic often comes down to adaptability.

“Adapting, yes, absolutely.”

But even that isn’t enough for some.

“There were lots of restaurants who got PPP money that unfortunately weren’t able to meet some of the metrics for the forgiveness. And unfortunately those will turn into loans.”

Even as some businesses have had to close down locations they’ve had for decades, owners new to the area are looking to establish themselves in the Hostess City.

“There’s more competition coming in in recent years. I think that will continue to be the case. I mean at the end of the day, this isn’t going to go on forever.”

Durrence says in the mean time, he believes unemployment assistance needs to continue for business owners, but adds he does think in the next few months the industry will start to rebound.

As for his own restaurant group, Durrence says The Public will reopen for limited service this coming Monday after having closed because of a fire last summer.

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