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Restaurants See Business In Many Switching To Ordering Out For News Years Eve

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The new wave of COVID cases is prompting many to reconsider their New Year's Eve plans. One way people are celebrating is by ordering in.

CBS 2's steven Graves visited the Riverwalk where some restaurants are busy even if people don't make reservations.

There is a group of people we know who are deciding to stay home because of COVID concerns, but restaurants are seeing business in a different way.

As thousands of people in Chicago welcome in the New Year, for some - a meal at a restaurant will not be a part of celebrations.

But it means prepared meal kits of food and drinks are selling out fast.

Restaurant owner Brian Bruns is making about 40 feasts for families at home.

About a dozen parties also canceled in-house reservations last minute.

"It's all because of COVID," said Bruns. "Some people are wondering if we have any stuff extra because they want to do their dinners at home."

It's a trend hitting many restaurants we talked to.

A sushi restaurant in River North sold out of fish and fried chicken dinners days before the holiday.

Restauranteurs say this is a practice that will stick around for years to come.

"We can serve all of these people, but then we can serve a smaller number of people in the restaurant during the night. And it helps to keep the lights on," Braun said.

"Nobody wants to dine in a restaurant right now because of the situation. The Pandemic."

Badara Diakhate, owner of a Senegalese restaurant in Rogers Park, is keeping his place open until midnight. That's how long he expects orders his take-home meal kit orders to keep coming in.

As the traditional New Year's Eve and other holiday celebrations conform to the COVID era.

While you can watch the fireworks at home on television if you decide to go downtown you can't watch them from the Riverwalk as areas will be closed off to space people out. Areas for allowed viewing can be seen here.

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