Tony's back-with a new knee and a new company (great new wines, too!)
In this deeply weird time, I keep looking for silver linings. Because even in seeking them, you find new perspective. Sometimes, you find an actual silver lining.
For example: restaurants. They’ve been closed for what seems like years. And even re-opened, they’re not the same. You’re dining outside in a corner of the parking lot, or inside at very low capacity. The menu is different, and/or you need to order all at once, from an Ipad. Want another glass of wine? Back to the Ipad…Needless to say, their volume is down. And there lies my silver lining….all those ‘restaurant only’ wines, the wines that importers and distributors generally won’t sell to retail stores, are suddenly available to me. And you! Better yet, those same importers and distributors are also applying hefty discounts.
Yes, please. Don’t mind if I do. In fact, we’ve found so many great deals that we’ll be holding a special Pennywise: Restaurant Edition to celebrate. Tune in August 13-16 to pick up some of these lovelies for your home cellar.
Meanwhile, many of our favorite restaurants are struggling. The Massachusetts Restaurant Association estimates that 30% of MA restaurateurs have already permanently closed their doors. More are almost certain to follow. Think about it-many expenses are simply not scalable. Rent, utilities, and insurance don’t decrease because you’re operating at 50% capacity. Or 25. And while less customers do require less waitstaff, it may not significantly reduce your kitchen staff. So restaurants who already operate at a razor-thin profit margin can quickly fall into the red. And-like nearly all small businesses right now- they are doing more with less, adapting to new regulations and protocols while missing staff who have elected not to return to consumer-facing jobs. Maybe they are trying to balance inside dining with takeout or hurriedly constructing an outdoor seating area. None of this is easy.
I try to keep all of the above top of mind when dining out. They don’t have my favorite menu item? I’m still-yay!-eating food someone else cooked and cleaned up after. My takeout is 10 minutes late? I’ll live. The server’s mask slipped down her nose because it’s 89 in the shade and she’s sweating bullets? I can turn away. Furthermore, I don’t need to call her out about it on Yelp or Facebook. Restaurants and restaurant staff are in a rough spot right now. I’d like my behavior to be a tiny silver lining in their day-they definitely deserve one.
So check out our Pennywise Sale, but please also keep our great local dining spots in mind. Because as much as I’m enjoying selling ‘their’ wine, I’d like my favorite restaurants to survive, too.