The COVID Party for None: The ‘dark winter’ of discontent

Let’s be honest, this year has been bleak for many restarants.

Yes, there are some shining examples of how take out only can work, but other major chains and small restaurants are feeling the burn of COVID.. The early spring and summer lockdowns throughout the United States did not do the industry favors.. And when dining finally was allowed throughout parts of the nation, few places were able to boast of a thriving night life.

And now with the media and politicians warn of what most have suddenly deemed a “dark winter,” dining is slowing again to a crawl..

A DARK WINTER?! Was it even a bright summer!?

One of the biggest attractions that many fair weathered states had was the luck of the sun. OUTSIDE DINING.. places soaked up the ability to lessen its dim fate with tables on sidewalks and closed down streets… Inside was limited, but the air outside led to some cities coming up with unique abilities to close down alleyways and less busy roadways for table side service in the open air.

But even with those few months of profit, the restaurant industry lost $120 bil by the middle of summer.

Industry publican QSR Magazine reporting this in June,

The National Restaurant Association released new data outlining the grim COVID-19 impact so far. The Association said restaurants lost $40 billion in May, bringing the three-month total to $120 billion after March dropped $30 billion in an abbreviated window and April sank $50 billion as stay-at-home policies covered the entire month. Overall, restaurants are expected to lose some $240 billion by year’s end.

As the summer ended and fall began, the pandemic showed signs up picking up in intensity.

CNBC reported this on September 29, 2020 that more than 100,000 restaurants and bars have permanently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to estimates from the National Restaurant Association.

2020 was predicted to be a year of growth. As a matter of fact, many worried that a lack of workers would have been the major crisis.

Instead 15% of the nation’s establisments closed, never to open again.

The bright side: FAST FOOD was alive and well nationwide, dishing out sodium and fats.

CNBC went on to report some more numbers showing strange success stories and disparities:

Domino’s Pizza and Papa John’s are among the most obvious winners, as consumers quickly transitioned to order their pizzas for delivery during lockdowns. But burger chains like McDonald’s and Wendy’s, which saw sales take deeper dives in March and April, also reported relatively speedy rebounds to their U.S. businesses.  The disparity between the fast-food sector and full-service restaurants is also reflected in restaurant stocks. Shares of Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants have fallen about 8% this year, while Dine Brands, owner of IHOP and Applebee’s, has seen its stock tumble 32%. On the flip side, McDonald’s stock is up 11% and Wendy’s shares are flat in 2020. Shares of fast-casual chain Chipotle Mexican Grill have gained more than 50% year to date, adding more than $11 billion to the company’s market value. Jim Stevens, president of the Golden Chick restaurant chain, said the company saw its sales dive 15% at its more than 190 locations in Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Florida during the five weeks after stay-at-home orders were put in place. But the fried chicken chain’s second-quarter same-store sales rose 21%, and its third quarter is on track for a 26% increase. Drive-thru sales account for about 85% of its business now, compared with about two-thirds before.

The dark winter emerges

We are going to get very weary of this dreadful “dark winter” phrase.. President-Elect Biden and VP-Elect Harris have said it. He recently changed his language to say a “very dark winter.”

Media figures have paraded it on newscasts.. and medical experts have warned of us it..

Back in the spring, radio host Clyde Lewis had broadcasted a program where he accurately predicted that “dark winter” was going to be the upcoming phrase we needed to get used to. He pointed that an old commercial for an Ubisoft game called Tom Clancy’s, The Division Dark Winter began to go viral. That video was from 2013.

This was that game trailer:

Back in June 2001, prior to the 9/11 attacks, policymakers and US officials gathered at Andrews Air Force base to simulate “dark winter.” Dark Winter and Atlantic Storm were both aligned in predicting the release of a biological pathogen during a massive winter storm. The pathogen was spread on Black Friday during a major winter storm on the Atlantic Coast…

But with COVID-19, chances are your local mall will be shuddered and shopping will have ceased…

By the time Joe Biden is inaugurated as President on January 20, 2021, predictions indicate that 70,000 more will die from the virus..


Friday the 13th in March.. various states and localities began lockdowns and stay at home orders after the White House declared the coronavirus a national emergency.

November 13, another Friday, charts out where we are now so many months later:

Daily tests have increased all year, but daily cases have come in waves.. This looks to be a third wave that does not seem to be relenting.. Hospital rates were back twice this year.. now they appear to be raging.. and while deaths were down for most of the summer and early fall, things seem to be rebounding into negative territory..


Cold weather approaches..

Dining outside will be a thing of memory..

This meme is making rounds on social media:

All kidding aside, something interesting has developed in recent hours on a Facebook page we follow called “Server memes.”

A post tonight said,

Is it just West Philly or is this the slowest Friday ever?

What followed were tons of comments, still being written, from around the United States..

Comments like these from people throughout the United States on Friday the 13th, November 2020, during the pandemic:

Slow in NJ. I made $30 last night

Slow in Maryland tonight

The slowest Friday I’ve worked in years in Ohio

Slow texas i worked from 8:30am to 2 manage to make $90 but only had like 10 tables

Dead in Western New York

New Hampshire Quiet Too

Sooooo slooooooww in Metro Detroit today 

San Diego is super quiet tonight

Slow in north west pa. Waiting to be shut down again

Slow in Tampa, fl

Ne Georgia.. Slowest night I can remember in a long time barely walked with 70 for 5 hours

Dead as fuck here in Charleston WV. We had a 30min wait at 6pm and then it just flatlined. Staff ready to leave in 15min

It’s the slowest friday ever. Pa

My day in Memphis was SUPER slow. I thought it was at least 4 and it was only noon

Yes because everyone is sick or afraid of getting sick we have a huge outbreak right now in western Michigan

Illinois: It’s horrid. The slowest night since we reopened in May!

I’m 20 minutes out of Philly on the Main Line. Totally dead.

Slow here in md. We’re adding more restrictions to gatherings here on Sunday so people are panic shopping and ordering takeout.

I was watching the news tonight (I live in the suburbs of Philly) and they were going on about how there’s going to be a set of new covid restrictions announced on Monday

Slow in upstate NY everyone freaking out again. 

Slowest Friday night of my life! Conshohocken, PA