Many of us take time off this week between Christmas and New Year's to spend time with family. But those who work in the restaurant industry are getting ready for a busy week.
Holiday meals at home are not keeping residents away from restaurants, or at least that's the case in Ann Arbor. The Mainstreet Ventures group that owns six of the biggest restaurants in Ann Arbor say their sales increase between 15-20% the week after Christmas.
Kevin Gudejko is the director of operations.
"Traditionally, it's actually one of the busiest weeks of the year for us. I think there's people just back visiting family or in that move to go out and celebrate a little bit. They're tired of maybe being home and cooking and all those things."
Mainstreet Ventures says reservations for this week starting pouring in since early December. And while the increase in sales is good for the group, Gudejko added that it also benefits the community as a whole.
"When you can support local businesses and it drives the local economy, that money stays here. You know, we're a privately held and locally owned company. So, you know, anything that comes through us, whether it's through our employees or even through our partners, it stays in the community and it helps support other things. We do a lot of charitable things through Mott's Children's Hospital and some of the other charities that we support. We're able to do that much more effectively."
So what type of restaurants attract more customers during this week? Gudejko explains.
"The higher-end ones seem to have a better New Year's Eve, maybe, than, say, a casual restaurant like Palio. The Chop House might have a bigger New Year's as well. Gratzi is something a little more romantic. But they just traditionally all see that bump that week."
If you don't have a reservation, it's recommended that you call ahead of time to check availability for long waits.
— Jorge Avellan is a reporter for 89.1 WEMU News. Contact him at 734.487.3363 or email him email@example.com