By Marlee Ginter

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) –  Restaurants are in a rough spot, worried a COVID spike will slow business.  For some, the next ten days could make all the difference.  The Downtown Sacramento Partnership kicked off the annual Dine Downtown. 30 restaurants participating are offering three-course meals at fixed prices: $25, $35, and $45.

“Already today we’ve seen a spike in sales so that’s helped us quite a bit and we’re very grateful for that,” said Jessica Scangos, General Manager of Midtown Sushi.

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It’s a chance for restaurants to lure more customers at a time when business slows after the holidays.

“It’s important to support them because they want to stay open. They have families to support,” said Charlotte Hernes.

The critical support comes at a tricky time with the fast-spreading Omicron variant. California’s positive rate is soaring past the highest of any point in the pandemic. Scangos says it is concerning for restaurants.

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“Not just with our sales, but with our staff as well. It’s hard to bring people in when we know that our lives are on the line. It is an important job.  We want to make sure that people get fed but we have to make sure that we’re being safe for ourselves,” Scangos told CBS13.

The restaurants are banking on support after the pandemic turned things upside down with only takeout last year. They’re now hoping another COVID spike doesn’t cramp their comeback.

“It is a scary time for us too to hold tables for people and then have people not show up. It’s scary for everyone,” said Shelby Davis, General Manager for The Porch. “So, for this week that started years ago it really makes a difference. Because this time last year we were only doing take out. So, to have dine-in, it’s really exciting.”

“Just being able to taste good food and not have to taste the same food and be able to see other people, it’s going to be nice,” said Hernes.

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Dine Downtown runs through January 17th.