Capital Region restaurants seek federal help as colder weather sets in

Area restaurants say with colder weather here and many of us still reluctant to eat inside, they’ll need some help from the feds to get by.

Outdoor seating isn’t so appetizing when the weather gets colder, and restaurants are worried that colder times will mean leaner margins.

"In the restaurant industry…our bottom line or our margins are miniscule. They’re so small," said Nancy Bambara, with DZ Restaurants, which operates Forno Bistro, Chianti, and Boca Bistro.

There are fears this winter, with people still reluctant to eat inside and less capacity and reduced hours because of staffing shortages, will be the end for some restaurants. So restaurateurs working with the New York State Restaurant Association to lobby the federal government for another helping of relief.

"There’s still a lot of uncertainty. There are people that will not eat inside. There are people that will only eat outside and our outdoor patios have really saved us, but it’s Upstate New York, it’s going to be cold. People are already starting to disappear," said Ryan McFadden, with Henry Street Taproom.

The so-called Restaurant Revitalization Fund has been a lifeline for those who got the grants. However, a lot of restaurants are still waiting.

Learn just how small the percentage of restaurants is that actually got the grant they applied for by watching the video of Mark Mulholland’s story.