Positive signs may be on the horizon of Texas’s restaurant industry

The pandemic has shaken the foodservice industry. Texas farmers hope stronger numbers are on the horizon and the restaurant industry may be seeing some positive signs.

There are more positive vibes at this McAllen, Texas restaurant than there were just a few weeks back.

“We had an extremely, very busy weekend. We did very good. My numbers were just as good as they were back in January, February before all this happened,” Stephen Marino, the restaurant’s owner, said.

He added that even with COVID-19 restrictions, he sees restaurants making the call to local farms once again.

His customers are gladly coming back. One says that he wants to keep giving business to restaurants and is happy it becomes business for farmers. He wants to see ag flourish in our nation.

Restaurants are slowly reopening but there are still some questions as to whether or not they can provide the same type of funding for farmers that they were providing back in 2018 or 2019.

Dante Galeazzi of the Texas Produce Association says that though people, like Marino, see positive signs, the 2020 foodservice number for Texas farmers are still bad.

“It is significantly down, and I think that’s in line with, unfortunately, many of the statistics that are out there,” Galeazzi notes.

He’s also very concerned that there are many more restaurant closers to come.

“As those restaurants close, those are people that are not going to be putting orders in, and many of our Texas farmers and even importers in Mexican produce rely on that mix,” he said. “So, we don’t know what the long-term impact is going to be, but I can tell you this, we haven’t seen that business return”