Difference Makers: NYC group encourages locals to help restaurants recover

By Mike Sugerman

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Indoor dining has returned to New York City with 25% capacity, but that may not be enough to keep many afloat.

One group is now doing all it can to save one of the city’s most important industries.

“I used to have 28 people in the restaurant. Now I have eight,” said Daniele Kucera, who owns Etcetera, Etcetera in the Theater District.

He says business is difficult, in fact, it’s “down 85% compared to last year.”

The start of limited indoor dining will help. But going out doesn’t only help restaurants’ bottom lines, or your stomach.

“If you spend a dollar at a restaurant that generates $1.75 to the economy,” says a study by the National Restaurant Association, which adds up sales tax, salaries and money from taxes employees then spend.

Now, restaurants are trying to encourage people to get out and eat.

“We’re really trying to get the message out that you should spend more money at restaurants,” said Chris La Cass, who helped start the group One 4 All 4 NYC.

He says their only goal is to get New Yorkers to spend more money, not just by going out.

“You can order. Or if you don’t want to do that, you can buy a gift certificate, or have the restaurant deliver food to the hotel that has homeless people living in it,” La Cass explains.

He notes that the money spent will go directly to improving the city.

So, if you don’t like the garbage piling up on the street? Order take out for dinner and you’ll be helping.

“If they go out of business, that extra 75 cents that goes into the economy, it’s just gone. And that’s what funds our services,” La Cass said.

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