You tend to see this more outside of San Francisco – restaurant employees out on the curb encouraging customers to come in. But it happened a lot in S.F. just after 9/11. Must not have been a picnic trying to make money in that environment. To help out, the Dine About Town program got started in 2002 trying to coax people back into restaurants.
But this is 2008, so it seems funny that a place on Columbus in North Beach would be looking for more business on a Saturday night, in June, at 8:00 PM.
In nearby Chinatown, the low point for the food service industry was in 2003 when the SARS scare prevented anybody from showing up for the Shirley Fong-Torres Wok Wiz tour one day. You couldn’t make it five feet down Grant Avenue without being propositioned during this time.
It can be a tough way to make a living, the restaurant biz.