NJ Business Coalition Urges Governor
To let N.J. reopen for business. With coronavirus numbers in the state declining, the New Jersey Business Coalition, a collection of more than 100 business and nonprofit groups, submitted a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy today urging him to end the “pause mode” of the reopening of New Jersey’s businesses. With a rate of transmission of .98 and a positivity rate of 1.6%, there is no reason not to proceed to reopen our economy. Decisive action is needed immediately so businesses will know whether to plan for a further reopening now or a prolonged limit on their business, necessitating greater government support.
Reopening Indoor Dining in N.J. Remains Too Risky for Coronavirus Spread
Based on study, Murphy says. Though New Jersey’s coronavirus numbers continue to improve five months into the state’s outbreak, Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday it remains too risky to permit indoor dining at bars and restaurants, citing a study of a restaurant outbreak in China earlier this year as evidence. Allowing diners to sit mask less for an extended period of time in a restaurant where the air-conditioning unit could silently spread coronavirus is a risk we cannot yet take,” Murphy said during his latest coronavirus briefing in Trenton.
Murphy Threatens to Shut Jersey Shore Bars
Following large, mask-free weekend lines. Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday threatened to shut down Jersey Shore bars that flout coronavirus restrictions after photos and videos spread on social media over the weekend showing lines of people closely gathered, without masks, outside nightlife hot spots. Murphy specifically mentioned four bars, some of which are cornerstones of the Jersey Shore nightlife scene — Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright, D’Jais and 10th Ave. Burrito in Belmar and Jenkinson’s Pavilion in Point Pleasant Beach — which he said had patrons behaving irresponsibly over the weekend. Murphy said the bars “may have been trying to do the right thing once patrons get in,” but the venues did not keep people socially distant or enforce mask mandates among those waiting outside. Murphy has required masks to be worn outdoors in New Jersey when social distancing is not possible.
How the industry is fighting to stay alive. It’s never been easy to make money in the restaurant industry. A highly fragmented sector dominated by 70 percent independent owners and operators, the average restaurant’s annual revenue hovers around $1 million and generates an operating profit of just 4-5 percent. A financially sustainable business model for small independents is often elusive. Coming into 2020, the restaurant industry was thriving. Within a few short months, we now see an industry back on its heels, massively disrupted by an external force so unprecedented it is almost unfathomable. How will the COVID-19 crisis change the landscape of the industry, and what do restaurants need to do to survive? And what should consumers, desperate to return to their favorite restaurants but wary about whether it is safe to do so, expect?
The Creative way Amazon’s Audible
Is helping restaurants survive COVID-19. Over the past 13 years, Audible has made an effort to integrate itself into the Newark community. When the pandemic struck, it doubled down. Audible, the audiobooks company owned by Amazon, has been headquartered in Newark since 2007 and has made an effort over the past 13 years to integrate itself into the community. As the economic devastation of the coronavirus became evident in Newark, a city that has seen decades of disinvestment, Audible began reaching out to its community partners, such as the nonprofit Newark Alliance and the office of Newark mayor Ras J. Baraka, to plan a response. In early April, the company launched Newark Working Kitchens, a program to reopen struggling restaurants by paying them to cook meals and deliver them to the neediest residents in the city.
As Restaurants Move to the Cloud
Something is missing. Thousands of eateries are closing amid the pandemic. Delivery specialists are popping up, but some observers worry about a loss of culture and community. During a pandemic, takeout is hot and so are ghost kitchens. Research completed last year by the consultancy Foodservice IP counted 119 ghost kitchens around the country, run by companies like Kitchen United, Reef, Zuul Kitchens, Katopi, or CloudKitchens. But with traditional restaurants closed or limited to takeout in many places, Tim Powell, the managing principal of Foodservice IP, projects the number of ghost kitchens will double over the next 12 months. The recommendations app Yelp says that the owners of 15,770 food businesses reported closing permanently between mid-March and mid-June, more than any other business sector tracked by the app. Cloud kitchens hope to fill the gap, and perhaps, expand the pie.
Netflix For Restaurants
Will you subscribe to save your favorite café or bar? With rising rents and decreasing margins, the holy grail for restaurants, cafés and bars is to entice the same people back, again and again. Subscription models encourage this, by increasing revenue with a more regular income stream and by increasing customer loyalty. Panera (and others) think it’s the way forward. Restaurants had started following the same model as members-only clubs such as Soho House, where members pay $3,000 per year to access services in any of several clubs around the world. The restaurant, café or bar offers a membership for a set price each month, paid by direct debit, and the customer receives discounts on drinks and food. For example, Pressed Juicery in California charges $10 per month and customers can buy drinks at $5 rather than $6,50.
NJ Gym That Defied Coronavirus Restrictions
Gets license rescinded. A New Jersey gym had its license rescinded during a town vote on Tuesday, ending a long-running saga that saw its owners repeatedly defy a state order to remain closed during the coronavirus pandemic, according to multiple reports. The Bellmawr council in Camden County voted 5 to 1 to rescind the mercantile license of Atilis Gym following an hourlong hearing that featured arguments from lawyers on both sides, according to NJ.com. The decision came amid a month’s long standoff between the gym’s owners and Gov. Phil Murphy over the importance of limiting the spread of the virus or the livelihood of local businesses.
Owner of Popular Montclair Restaurant Charged with Violating Indoor Dining Ban
I did the right thing. Cuban Pete’s, a popular Cuban restaurant in Montclair, was issued a violation on Aug. 7 for serving food indoors, a breach of Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order prohibiting indoor dining. But owner Dominick Restaino, who admits he served diners indoors, insists, “I did the right thing.” Restaino said he had no choice but to serve diners when rain drove them to flee inside his “beautiful 300-seat” restaurant. “What was I supposed to do?” he asked. “Was I supposed to tell them, ‘You have to leave’?”
Did You Know?
83 percent of NYC restaurants, bars unable to pay full rent. The coronavirus pandemic continues to impose a severe economic toll on New York City’s eateries and pubs — with 83 percent of establishments saying they’re unable to make their full July rent and 37 percent unable to pay at all, a survey released Monday reveals. The NYC Hospitality Alliance poll of 471 restaurants, bars and nightclubs mirrors the results of a June survey — when the overwhelming majority of businesses were unable to cover their rent. With indoor dining service still on pause and al fresco dining service not generating sufficient revenue to cover rent and other expenses, small business owners in the food and booze industry worry about surviving the pandemic.
When will I get my extra $300 a week in unemployment benefits? On Saturday, President Donald Trump signed four executive orders — one of which calls for an additional $300 in federal weekly unemployment benefits from a $44 billion fund set aside for disaster aid. But there are several catches to the order that could leave behind some 6 million Americans who were previously eligible for the extra $600 a week benefit under the $2 trillion CARES Act stimulus package, said Eliza Forsythe, a labor economist and assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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A new and exciting update. Keep your eyes open for the release of Bielat Santore & Company’s new E-Book, “100 Days of Darkness,” scheduled to be published soon. Once a definite release date is established, you will be able to obtain a copy on the firm’s website, www.123bsc.com.