HARRISBURG, Pa. — As Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, restaurant owners in Harrisburg are preparing for what the coming months will bring as COVID-19 restrictions remain in place.
"It's been challenging but we're getting through it," said Lisa Garcia, El Sol Mexican Restaurant co-owner.
COVID-19 restrictions like 25 percent indoor dining capacity have forced local restaurants to change the way they do things. In Harrisburg, Saturday Nights in the City, allows restaurants to expand outdoor dining.
"Saturday nights with street dining is helpful but will stop when it gets cold," said Garcia.
With those colder months ahead restaurant owners, like Garcia, are preparing for what business will look like if restrictions remain in place.
"It would be nice to expand past 25 percent capacity but I'm not holding my breath either," said Garcia. "So, staying relevant with take out is what's sustained us through this whole thing."
To push take out orders, instead of holding 'Restaurant Week,' the Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District has kicked off Harrisburg Takeout Month, encouraging folks to order takeout from their favorite city restaurants.
The Vegetable Hunter co-owners, Kristin and John Baker say, along with adapting to the challenges, it's takeout that has helped their business survive.
"Takeout is one way to help restaurants stay in business," said Kristin Baker. "And we really hope that people will take advantage of that and go to your favorite restaurant and make sure they stay in business during this time."