Phil Roberts knows better than most that looks can be deceiving.
Outdoor dining, federal bailout money and takeout service have allowed him to keep the doors open at Salut, Manny’s Steakhouse, Good Earth and other Twin Cities-area restaurants he and his partners own.
But profits? Forget about it.
“It’s carnage out there,” Roberts said. “People think that if restaurants are doing takeout that things are fine. But we’re not.”
And things are likely to get worse.
Outdoor dining, which allowed many restaurants to limp through an otherwise dreary summer, will soon end. State-mandated capacity restrictions at bars and restaurants remain in place, and luring customers indoors while a pandemic continues to rage across the state could be a tall order.
Help, in the form of more aid from Washington, appears unlikely to arrive soon.
About 100,000 restaurants have shut down since March, according to the National Restaurant Association, an industry