Restaurant says their sales were affected by SEMO District Fair

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 11:12 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 20, 2021 at 11:22 PM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - The SEMO District Fair’s return was a success, but some restaurants question if this success affected their bottom lines.

Orders are rolling back in for Raul Nieves, manager of El Torero Mexican Grill in Cape Girardeau, since the end of the SEMO District Fair on Saturday.

Nieves said customer turnout has not been the same since the pandemic and the return of the fair decreased their customers by nearly 30 percent.

“Maybe 200 people would come in and we’re used to seeing at least 4 or 500 people,” said Nieves.

He said whenever they see fewer people, their employees see less tips for service.

“We did have to reduce some of our employees and that can really affect them too, because it means they have a less income for them,” said Nieves.

Dustin Fornkohl, a Heartland resident, said he’s to enjoy a meal out in Downtown Cape Girardeau.

“I like Broussard’s. After she ate at the fair and everything, I was like ‘lets go to Broussard’s,” said Fornkohl.

However, he said the fair made it convenient to eat at one place. He believed other families feel the same.

“‘Cause we’re going there anyways, so just might as well eat while we’re there and the kids can ride the rides and just grab a bite while we’re there,” said Fornkohl.

Despite the dip in customers due to the fair, El Torero is seeing numbers get back to where they were before.

It wasn’t all bad news, Nieves said they are seeing new customers from out of town, due to the SEMO District Fair.

“It’s been fair to us, but I know other places it hasn’t been so much fair,” said Nieves.

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