Restaurants took a big hit during COVID

Experts say one in six restaurants closed down for good during the pandemic. But reopening comes with its own uncertainty.

The pandemic hit many industries hard. Few were hit quite as hard or had as much of an impact on the economy overall as the restaurant industry.

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, which lobbies on behalf of restaurants in Michigan, estimates that one in every six restaurants in the state were forced to close permanently during the pandemic.

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That included longtime Kalamazoo mainstays such as Bravo! Restaurant and Cafe and the Union Cabaret and Grille.

Industry leaders have placed much of the blame for closings on restrictions meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Those also forced many businesses to shut their doors for extended periods of time, and limited capacity even after they reopened.

As of Tuesday, those restrictions are at an end. Industry leaders rejoiced at the news.

Experts expect those restaurants still open will see a rush of business in the coming days and weeks. Many are not prepared for the influx as they vie for a small pool of workers.

You can read more on MLive.

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