MADISON (WKOW) -- 2021 is expected to be a year of transition and rebuilding for the restaurant industry.
Those businesses were hit harder than any other during the pandemic, but the National Restaurant Association predicts sales will be up at least 11 percent this year compared to 2020.
That's a growth restaurant owners are already starting to see.
"We tried to scratch every dollar we could out of what we were doing and then once things re-opened, you know, it's different. We're doing business. You're sort of still in survival mode, which is where we still are," said Nitty Gritty owner Eric Suemnicht.
90,000 restaurants across the US are still closed, some permanently, as others wait to reopen.
But the success of takeout and delivery has some turning to a growing trend to stay in business.
"Let's be the trendsetters instead of just hoping to scoot by, so it was definitely spurred on by the pandemic," said Matt Pace, Director of Operations and Executive Chef at The Great Dane.
Thursday night on 27 News at 10, we'll take you inside the virtual kitchens of Madison and explain how the restaurants you know well are cooking up new concepts to stay afloat.