SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – As a number of tech companies continue to have employees working from home, some business owners in downtown San Jose say it is hurting them.
The problem for restaurants is the lack of foot traffic.
It’s not only taking away the vibrancy of the area but it’s also affecting their bottom line.
Most of these places have taken a huge hit throughout the pandemic but there was some hope that once things improved thousands of office employees would come back.
With the delta variant forcing companies to scale back their return to office plans, these restaurants are left with fewer customers and more empty tables.
Downtown San Jose restaurants in the normally popular San Pedro Square are suffering.
A lack of would-be customers such as tech and other corporate office employees who are still working at home is putting a strain on local businesses.
Randy Musterer’s restaurant Sushi Confidential, like others along San Pedro Street, has struggled for months to get a solid lunch or happy hour crowd.
Musterer was looking forward to seeing large companies like Cisco, Zoom or Adobe bring their employees back.
But because of convenience and concerns over COVID-19, many tech companies have opted for hybrid work models or given the work-from-home option to employees full time.
Remote work means empty office buildings.
The absence of corporate catering has also negatively affected Musterer’s business.
He is however thankful for residents who live in the area and for the temporary street closures put in place by the city.
There is hope that office workers will return especially as vaccination numbers improve here locally.
Santa Clara County has one of the highest vaccination rates in the state with the county health department reporting almost 82% of those over the age of 12 being fully vaccinated.