Supervisor Jim Desmond proposes plan to get customers back in restaurants

Plan would benefit customers and business owners
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Posted at 5:40 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 20:40:02-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond is proposing a plan that would benefit restaurant owners and customers at the same time.

The program called "Dine-Out and Help-Out" would offer customers 50 percent off their meals, up to $10 per person if they dine at participating restaurants Monday through Wednesday, starting June 15. Restaurants would then be reimbursed for the discount by the County of San Diego through funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA.

Desmond said the federal government has allocated over $300 million to the county to help with recovery efforts during the pandemic. Desmond is asking the county to set aside $50 million for the program he is proposing.

"If you go out to a restaurant on Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, a party of five, you could get up to $50 dollars off of your bill," said Desmond.

He hopes to bring his proposal to the Board of Supervisors for a possible vote on June 8.

"It is an interesting proposal given many restaurants are saying they cannot hire enough people to meet the current demand, but we will evaluate it when submitted and in the context of our broader ARPA framework," said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher in a statement. The board is looking at several pandemic recovery plans.

"If this is something that can help the community, other businesses, and my business, that would be a big blessing and a big help," said Claudia Ortiz, who co-owns Lakeside Cafe & Bakery with her husband.

Ortiz said her business was hit hard during the pandemic, like many other restaurants. If the county puts this plan in place, she said she will sign up to offer the discount at her restaurant.

"I feel optimistic with what's coming forward now," she said.