GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - It's Restaurant Week in Greenville!

The bi-annual event offers a chance for local restaurants to get connected to new customers and the community a chance to find local spots they've never been to before.

"We really enjoy restaurant week, it brings in a different crowd.  And we're trying to bring in diversity into Greenville with a Spanish concept," said April Moro, Abanico Tapas Bar and Restaurant Owner.

"I think for us the first thing is giving back to Greenville right now.  I mean through these hard times Greenville has really supported us and our vision of what we're trying to do here so the first thing we want to do is really give back so that's our first focus is thank you Greenville, thank you everybody who has supported us.  The other thing is exposure," added Maestro Bistro & Dinner Club Chef Gene Magliaro.

The week comes as winter weather is expected to bring snow and ice to the Upstate.

At Maestro Bistro, the restaurant is typically closed on Sunday's and does not expect much of an impact from the weather.

While at Abanico's, owners there say they are ready to roll with whatever comes their way even if that means having to temporarily close if the weather demands before opening back up after it passes.

The weather is not the only hurdle, many restaurants are facing a staffing shortage as we are in the latest phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While some restaurants, like Maestro Bistro, say they are lucky and have not faced staffing shortages, others say while they have enough staff the hard part is keeping them all healthy at the same time.

"We have about recovered the staff amount that we had previous but now it's an issue of there's somebody sick almost all the time.  So it affects different areas or they've had exposure so you don't want them coming in and exposing everybody else," said Moro.

And with this latest surge, are restaurants seeing fewer customers come through the door?

Those FOX Carolina spoke to say that compared to this time last year or summer 2020, there are a lot more customers coming in right now.

Community members say that this latest surge is not fully stopping them from going out to their favorite restaurants either.

"I think for us if we go to a restaurant we do kind of take a look quickly and see like how close together the tables are, how compact it is, how many people are in there.  I do think we're a little bit more conscience of that.  We find that most of the restaurants right now have really good spacing between customers and of late we've felt pretty comfortable eating out," explained Marjan Schoettelkotte, who lives in Greer.

Restaurant weeks runs through Jan. 23, with about 55 participating restaurants in Greenville.

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