MISSOULA — Restaurants have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
MTN News checked in on how one local eatery is adapting as restrictions loosen -- and how food shortages have presented unique challenges.
Restaurants have been seeing a slight uptick in business since Montana entered Phase Two of the gradual reopening of the state on June 1.
The Trough -- a little steak, burger and sandwich joint off Clements Road -- has struggled through the pandemic like many restaurants but is now able to offer almost all of its regular menu.
"We had to scale way back so that [we] could provide the freshest product possible," said manager Mark Jones.
He noted that for the first time since April, the restaurant has been able to once again serve up ribeye steaks.
"We've had a lot of products that are not available to us -- or were sporadically available," Jones explained. "And of course everything, beef, and chicken, and all of the different items that have gone skyrocketing in price."
A breakdown in the food supply chain meant Jones had to offer a limited menu after reopening.
"It's been frustrating and tough, but we understand [it's a] sign of the times," said Jones, who added that business is starting to pick back up.
"We appreciate the fact that our customers have been sticking with us. And I'm sure businesses throughout Missoula also feel the same way. It s great to have the support," he told MTN News.
Jones planned to serve chicken and waffles for brunch over the weekend.