Texas Restaurant Association: ‘This is a critical season — please dine out’

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Restaurant Association spent some time Tuesday morning showing the challenges businesses are facing rebuilding after the pandemic.

They say restaurants experienced a perfect storm of drastic food cost increases, labor shortages and canceled plans stemming from the delta variant.

The association explained 75% of Texas restaurants say their business is less profitable now than it was three months ago. Officials did give some good news: as COVID-19 numbers decline, the holiday season can be a time to bounce back.

“The holiday season is approaching,” said Dr. Emily Williams Kight, president and CEO of the TRA. “This is a critical season — in even a good year — for most restaurants. The number one message to the public today is to please, please dine out. Please buy a gift card from a restaurant.”

The TRA also talked about the $180 million hospitality and grant program for businesses recovering from the pandemic. It was part of a bill passed by the state legislature. Right now, it’s sitting on the governor’s desk waiting for his signature.

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