Local restaurants hit by extensive heat wave, other industries see boost

Brisa Colon Image
Thursday, July 11, 2024 3:27PM
Local restaurants take the hit from extensive heatwave, while other industries see boost
The heat is making matters worse for the restaurant industry, already struggling with inflation.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The heat is making matters worse for the restaurant industry, already struggling with inflation.

Business has been slow for El Patio in the Tower District. Its unique outdoor vibes are making it difficult for them to bring in customers during this extended heatwave.

"People want to sit in the patio, they don't want to sit inside the air conditioning because for them they're like no, this restaurant is about sitting outside in the patio," says Paola Carasco with El Patio Restaurant.

The restaurant has already had to close early several times and cut employee hours.

"Some employee hours have gone down. Normally, we'll probably give them a six or seven-hour shift. Right now, they're maybe doing a four-hour shift," says Carrasco.

The restaurant sees the biggest crowds in the morning or later at night. Now, they're forced to get creative.

"We'll run our misters, we have our cooler fans going, and we have our drinks going as well," says Carrasco.

The restaurant is even using its sister restaurant next door, Aromas, as an indoor option for diners.

The streets were so quiet in the Tower District on Wednesday, Alexis Rosas says he almost didn't stop and eat.

"I was walking up. I almost thought it was closed. Let me double-check here and see if I can get the sandwich. As long as I'm staying out of the sun, I think it's pretty fine. I see other people are not as willing to come outside. I guess they're staying inside," says Rosas.

But while the heat is taking a toll on some industries, others are thriving.

Valley Air Conditioning and Repair says their phones are ringing off the hook.

"I don't remember this happening in a long time, and it's just very long heat wave and it is breaking. A lot of things are breaking because of the extended period that you have," says Steve Mendrin, Valley Air Conditioning and Repair.

The industry is vital, especially during this excessive heat.

"When our customers go down, especially the elderly, we have to respond to them faster because they can't take the heat as the younger people," says Mendrin.

Mendrin says it's all hands on deck right now to try and keep up with their long waitlists.

"Were limited. We can't over-staff and then the quality is going to go down, but we're just doing the best we can," says Mendrin.

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