RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As we inch closer to summer, Scott Peacock with Visit Raleigh says people are slowly starting to return to the Triangle.
“You can now start to have some norm and by that, I mean you can now feel more confident going out to eat at a restaurant even if you can’t sit outside,” said Peacock.
While restaurant tax revenues near pre-pandemic levels, Peacock says one thing continues to hold the industry back as a whole.
“Even if we opened up tomorrow to 100%, I can tell you a lot of our restaurants wouldn’t, because they just don’t have staffing to provide the service level yet,” he said.
However, that could be good news if you’re looking for a job.
“Right now, you can’t find a restaurant or a hotel or an attraction that’s not hiring,” said Peacock. “There’s a dire need for staffing to keep up with the increase in demand from visitors and patrons.”
Events like the upcoming NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament are set to kick more than $4.6-million into the local economy.
“Sporting events are back,” said Peacock.
That’s why he believes the area has an opportunity to hit a home run with the return of minor league baseball and the upcoming MLB Draft Combine.
“You may have to fight harder to get that ticket to the event, but you can get that ticket to the event,” said Peacock. “When was the last time you could say you went to a sporting event, right? I think that’s another sign of hope for people getting back to a sense of norm.”