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Austin Restaurant Revenues Dropped by 73 Percent

How local restaurants are faring with the COVID-19 impacts, plus more news

The boarded-up windows of Austin restaurant Parkside
The boarded-up windows of Austin restaurant Parkside
Nadia Chaudhury/EATX
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Austin Restaurant Revenue Dip
Austin restaurant revenues have dipped by 73.1 percent, according to point-of-sale/management program Toast through grassroots web platform Rally for Restaurants. This is due to the coronavirus pandemic, since dining rooms are currently closed for dine-in service through Friday, May 1, though many businesses are staying open for takeout and delivery service, but it isn’t enough to keep up expected earnings. Rally for Restaurants encourages people to look up their favorite restaurants and place takeout or gift card orders.

How COVID-19 Is Impacting Barbecue Restaurants
Texas Monthly checked in with Austin barbecue spots to see how the novel coronavirus pandemic is affecting their businesses. La Barbecue switched to only takeout (and nixed beef ribs and nachos) through a new ordering system, but its revenue was “cut in half.” Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ also switched to takeout-only and is only accepting advanced payment through preorders, and its revenue dipped by 35 percent. Franklin Barbecue, which is open only for curbside preorders, just bought its 11th Street building and had to pay its first mortgage payment this month. The restaurant is also making 50 percent of its expected revenue at this time.

How COVID-19 Is Impacting Other Austin Restaurants
Austin Business Journal spoke to several local food and drink businesses to see how they’re faring right now. Salt & Time, which expanded with a whole grocery store aspect while also running the takeout restaurant, is focusing on paying its staffers and bills. Luckily, it isn’t paying rent on its forthcoming locations in Republic Square Park and St. Elmo Public Market just yet. Cuvee Coffee’s web sales have been good and it’s been offering discounts of wholesale coffee to other businesses. Way South Philly closed after it lost 75 percent of its business, though owner Willy Pearce will pay employees for at least six weeks, paid half of his April rent, and doesn’t expect he will be able to have future rent payments until mid-summer.

New Virtual Cooking and Music Series
There’s a new cooking and music virtual event: Prime Cuts is presented by Luck Productions (affiliated with Willie Nelson) and Austin Food & Wine Alliance. The weekly virtual cooking program will showcase participating chefs and bar experts demonstrating how to make dishes and drinks at home. First up is Olamaie chef Michael Fojtasek with North Carolina chef Ashley Christensen and Drink.Well’s Jessica Sanders. The recipe cards — covering hoppin’ john, cornbread, mint juleps, and Old Fashioneds — are found online. To round it off, Austin musician Shakey Graves will also perform. This takes place today, Friday, April 10, streaming through Twitch and Facebook Live.

Baseball Stadium Family Meal Kits
Minor League stadium Round Rock Express is getting into the family meal kit game. It’s selling five-person meal kits with groceries for $189.44, which comes with chicken parmesan, meatloaf, and more. Orders will have to be placed before Monday, April 13 at 4 p.m. with curbside pickup on Friday, April 17 from 1 to 5 p.m. in the parking lot.

Salt & Time

1912 East 7th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 524-1383 Visit Website


1610 San Antonio Street, , TX 78701 (512) 474-2796 Visit Website

Cuvee Coffee Bar

2000 East 6th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 368-5636 Visit Website


207 East 53rd Street, , TX 78751 (512) 614-6683 Visit Website

la Barbecue

2401 East Cesar Chavez Street, , TX 78702 Visit Website

Franklin Barbecue

900 East 11th Street, , TX 78702 (512) 653-1187 Visit Website

Dell Diamond

3400 East Palm Valley Boulevard, , TX 78665 (512) 255-2255 Visit Website

Way South Philly

1108 E. Sixth St., Austin, TX 78702 (512) 771-6969 Visit Website

Valentina's Tex Mex BBQ

11500 Menchaca Road, , TX 78748 (512) 221-4248 Visit Website