California's economy has officially reopened, and restaurant owners are telling hungry residents: It's time to step inside our establishments and celebrate.
Because of the huge decrease in coronavirus cases and the increase in people getting vaccinated, businesses such as restaurants, bars, retail stores, theaters, hotels and entertainment centers can now return to pre-COVID operations without capacity limitations or requirements for social distancing.
Even before the state's restrictions were lifted on June 15, there were plenty of indications that diners had become more comfortable with going out to eat.
The data scientists at Zenreach, a technology company based in San Francisco, have analyzed their data and found that across all industries, nationwide restaurant foot traffic is up 48 percent since the start of 2021.
But the increase has been particularly huge in several metropolitan areas in California, including the Inland Empire.
In the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario region, in-store visits to food and beverage establishments have skyrocketed 112 percent over the past five months, Zenreach reported. That is the sixth-biggest increase of any geographical region in the nation, Zenreach said.
The San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad area in California has seen a huge 198 percent increase, while in-person restaurant dining in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area has gone up 141 percent.
Megan Wintersteen, VP of marketing for Zenreach, said these statistics bode well for the economy.
"With indoor mask mandates starting to lift, Zenreach expects these numbers will continue to increase," Wintersteen said.
The owners of many Fontana restaurants are hoping that lots of residents who have been hesitant about going to public places previously during the pandemic will now be excited about going inside the eateries for meals.
----- SOME OF THE FONTANA RESTAURANTS which are fully ready for customers and are offering specials include:
• Alberto's Mexican Food, 16846 Foothill Boulevard -- phone (909) 355-4491
• Chiki Chiki Wings and Sports, 16312 Arrow Boulevard -- phone (909) 429-3209
• El Pane-Sito, 8188 Sierra Avenue -- phone (909) 356-1470
• Tacos Xalisco, 8188 Sierra Avenue -- phone (909) 355-0610
• Tom's Super Hamburgers, 9291 Sierra Avenue -- phone (909) 355-9583
• Ziggi's Cocktail Lounge, 8471 Cherry Avenue -- phone (909) 449-9308
For more information about these restaurants, see the special Dining and Entertainment Guide in the June 18 printed edition of the Fontana Herald News (Pages 8 and 9).