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Restaurants Eye A Return To Pre-COVID Business As Diners Return To The Table

BOSTON (CBS) - Restaurants have been left guessing and trying new things, but now, some places. like SRV, are shifting back to the way things were pre-pandemic.

"Now that we're back open to seven days a week, we're essentially tracking to be where we were pre-pandemic, so that's been really great to see," said SRV chef and partner Michael Lombardi.

For the past two years, the South End restaurant closed its doors on Mondays and Tuesdays before making the shift back to seven days a week in late February.

"It kind of just right from the get-go took off again. And that was great for us to see," said Lombardi.

As of two weeks ago, the Salty Pig is also now open for dinner every night, up from five days a week. They are debating doing the same for lunch service, which is currently only Friday-Sunday.

"Right now, we're seeing our lunch business on Friday, Saturday and Sunday pick up, which is a really good sign," said Coda Group Director of Operations Ted Hawkins, who added, "We're really banking on more and more office activations coming back into this area so kind of getting ready for that."

For restaurants like The Salty Pig with outdoor patio seating, which at 80 seats doubles business, the weather this time of year is an incentive to increase operating hours.

"Now working with the weather, we're opening up our patios, which adds a ton of space for us," said Hawkins.

SRV is booked for weddings bi-monthly through October, a part of their business that has been taking off since last year.

"Corporate events are creeping back in, too, but definitely a lot of family events, family reunions, weddings, things that people haven't been able to do," said Lombardi.

And while staffing shortages and supply chain issues remain, it's causing some changes that aren't necessarily a bad thing for workers - like closing the kitchen a few hours earlier.

"It's been beneficial for us. I think people are happier. They're out of here earlier. They're going home, getting their life back," said Lombardi.

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