COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – While many are enjoying more days working from home, downtown Columbus restaurants are not.
The trend has caught on since the pandemic and restaurant owners said it’s hurting business, particularly on Mondays and Fridays, the two days they’ve found more people are working from home.
Just like several parts of life over the past few years, it’s something they’re trying to get used to.
Dreary downtown days often mean less business for restaurants in the area, but Lexi’s on Third owner Dan Georges said his breakfast and lunch spot has been getting fewer customers on certain days regardless of what’s happening outside.
“Fridays have become our Tuesday, kind of middle of the week slow day,” he said. “A bad weather day, just a lot of rain, people don’t want to walk in it, those are the days. Those bad weather days are now our Mondays and Fridays without the weather. It’s crazy.”
Other restaurants are also reporting lower than pre-pandemic Monday and Friday numbers as well. According to Ohio Restaurant Association President and CEO John Barker, office use downtown is significantly down, which is affecting bars and places to eat.
“We’re hoping this would come back, but the fact so many businesses are working hybrid is having an impact on this business, which means the pandemic feels like it’s continuing for people in the restaurant industry,” Barker said.
At Lexi’s on Third, Georges said 90 percent of the catering part of the business is now happening Tuesdays through Thursdays, which is a change from before the pandemic.
“It’s hard when you can only count on only three days a week,” he said.
Georges is grateful for the business which has come back but notices the different feels on Mondays and Fridays in other areas, too.
“You’d have to get the early bird to kind of get in a parking garage,” Georges said. “Now you can park all day, any time of the day, so it affects the whole economy downtown.”
One Arena District restaurant owner said other days of the week have been improving, but “Mondays and Fridays are the problem at this point.”