Restaurant Week 2020 in Columbia, SC

Grabbing dinner on Saluda’s patio | Photo via @saludasrestaurant

DYK that tomorrow is the start of South Carolina Restaurant Week? Hosted annually by the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, during the next 10 days (Jan. 7-17) we can all do our part to help support an industry that was hit particularly hard in 2020. 

Here is a little recap of everything that happened to the restaurant and hospitality industry. 

On March 29, the City of Columbia issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe order. Restaurants were considered an essential business so they were permitted to remain open, but only to offer to go meals, which prompted the Carry Out Wednesday movement. 

Then, Gov. McMaster issued the Work or Home order for all of South Carolina, which went into effect on April 7, and mandated that all citizens stay home unless going to work, visiting immediate family, seeking medical attention or picking up groceries. (Que the banana bread recipes we all tried while missing our favorite restaurants.) This remained in effect until May 4 when restaurants were allowed to reopen for takeout + outdoor seating only. Those that chose to reopen at this time had to follow specific guidelines such as spacing tables + requiring staff to wear masks.  

As a result, South Carolina’s unemployment claims from mid-March to June 6

increased to 582,265. The largest percentage of this was the food service industry at 23%. 

While most restaurants are hopeful for the future, some have only been able to rehire 30-40% of their original staff and others faced tougher decisions to close all together. RIP – Yesterday’s, Solstice Kitchen, Happy Cafe, Blue Flour Bakery (Main Street location), Carolina Ale House (Vista location), need we go on? 

Fast forward to the first week of January in 2021. Restaurant week is upon us once again. The goal is to raise awareness about local restaurants + provide the opportunity to try something new. 

Typically, Restaurant Week brings everyone out of the house – encouraging making reservations + dining in local restaurants that offer exclusive deals for this week alone. However, due to coronavirus precautions, most participating restaurants will also offer carry out options to keep the support going even if it’s not in their dining rooms.  

So, who’s hungry to support our local restaurants? 

View all of Columbia’s participating restaurants here.