HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – As the storm moved in last Friday night and snow quickly covered roadways, many people canceled plans and hunkered down.
“We had about 70 reservations cancel on Friday night and about 100 cancel on Saturday night,” said Executive VP of Food & Beverage Operations for Professional Hospitality Resources (PHR) Chuck Sass.
Sass operates several restaurants in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, including Orion’s Roof at the Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
Despite the blustery snow and dicey driving conditions, Sass said the Asian cuisine restaurant was still busy.
“It always helps to be in a hotel,” he laughed.
Restaurant Week in the Beach is also helping to boost business. With a deal on a three-course meal, Sass said Orion’s was able to make up some of the losses.
“We were able to backfill a lot those reservations,” he said. “We had some fallout, but probably not nearly as bad as it could have been.”
The bad weather last Friday night also caused The Dirty Buffalo in Norfolk to take a bit of hit on its bottom line. But playoff games on Saturday forced many people out of their homes to brave the bitter cold and messy roads.
“The Colley [Avenue] store actually had one of its best days we’ve had since our reopening back in September,” said Dirty Buffalo co-owner Ryan Lynn.
Dozens of restaurants continue to deal with staffing shortages, rising food costs and supply chain issues.
With more snow on the way, business owners are hopeful some people will still venture out, and if you need a ride, The Dirty Buffalo owners might be able to help. If the name didn’t already give it away, they’re no strangers to snow.
“He and I volunteered to give rides to any of our staff members that couldn’t make it out or didn’t feel safe driving in the snow,” Lynn said. “He and I grew up driving in the snow, so this was a routine thing for us.”
The Virginia Beach Restaurant Association has extended Restaurant Week until Jan. 30 for anyone who missed it last weekend because of the bad weather.