SF restaurant loses $8,000 in one night from COVID-related cancellation

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Many San Francisco restaurants and bars have reopened, but as coronavirus numbers have been up and down, so has business for some.

One restaurant recently lost thousands of dollars in one night due to a COVID-related cancellation.

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"We understand that emergencies happen, but it's just difficult when so many emergencies are happening and folks are cancelling," says chef and owner of Nightbird restaurant, Kim Alter.

Alter is making the best out of what has been a very difficult couple of weeks. The hardest moment came when a company bought out her boutique restaurant for the night, and then called it off.

"Two days before they cancelled due to new restrictions that they were going to put in their company and we learned a lesson, didn't have strong protocol, cause we have never had somebody cancel a banquet before, we lost about 8-10 thousand dollars," says Alter.

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Laurie Thomas heads the Golden Gate Restaurant Association with two of her own restaurants, one of them being Terzo, which dealt with some challenges last Friday.

"At Terzo we saw one and a half times the normal no-shows, but then we saw the walk-ins make up for that," said Thomas.

Thomas says business seemed to bounce back at many spots over the weekend, including Fisherman's Wharf, something she says is likely due to the fires near Lake Tahoe, which kept people in town and brought in out-of-towners.

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Alter is just hopeful for a turnaround at her restaurant that had four cancellations on Tuesday alone due to positive COVID-19 cases.

"Which is a third of our dining room, we are nine tables and when four cancel it's a pretty big chunk of what we do every night," says Alter.

"I think after this week we're going to start seeing things settling out to a new normal," says Thomas, who remains optimistic about what's to come.



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