Coming off nearly three years of public health emergency conditions, the restaurant industry in 2023 continues to be challenged.

Many have had to scale back, or close shop altogether. 

"Certainly over two dozen I've noticed just over the last couple of years I've seen a lot of closures, more than we would like to see," Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association President Mary Rhodes told KUAM News. "And it's just been really hard. But then we've had some new ones open and I think that a lot of people are taking risks knowing that if there's going to be a turn in that corner it probably will take place this year."

But with many restaurants far from full recovery, and federal financial help such as the restaurant revitalization fund dried up, Rhodes says they've been talking about other ways to help these businesses stay afloat.

 "GHRA has met with other organizations, with GEDA, to talk about as you know with LEAP 2, and I think they've really recognized that the restaurants specifically the brick and mortar restaurants have had a lot of challenges but keep in mind even the restaurants in hotels not everyone is operating at least seven days a week as they normally would," she said.

She says while additional financial help might be needed, the bottom line is to focus on bringing back tourists who will provide the scale the restaurants really need.