Updated: November 13, 2021 09:19 PM
Created: November 13, 2021 08:20 PM
SOCORRO, N.M. – Restaurants had a difficult time during the pandemic, as hundreds were forced to close for good. But a few found a way to survive and now one group wants to honor their hard work.
"I have a list of about 350 restaurants that have closed permanently, and that's about 10% of the restaurants that were open prior to the pandemic. So we've lost about 10% of our restaurants,” said Carol Wight CEO of New Mexico Restaurant Association.
Wight said many restaurant owners have persevered through the pandemic. But there are some folks who have gone above and beyond and now are being recognized with a hospitality industry award.
"And I'll say that the winner of the Restaurant Tour of the Year award is a couple from a restaurant in Socorro. And they just epitomize restaurants over the last year and a half struggling to stay alive really helping out in their community doing what they can to make the restaurant better keep their employees employed and also do what they can in their communities",” said Wight.
Jason and Deidra Vinson are the owners of Yo Mama's Grill in Socorro.
"Man, did the community support us, so this award is more about Socorro and our staff, our team that stuck with us. We were able to keep the majority of our staff, and a few had moved on through the pandemic. It was kinda scary, but we were able to keep everybody paid and everybody going,” said Deidra.
This year, the restaurant industry is doing a bit better but, of course, there are still challenges like staffing shortages. But the New Mexico Restaurant Association is hopeful that next year will be better.
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