Time to seriously loosen lockdown rules for restaurants and others. Every day there’s a new story about the death of New York, how we’re so broken, we can never be rebuilt. And every day brings a new crazy piece of news to a New York already on the brink to prove those people right. Our elected officials are crushing our city and state. Enough. A new rule, for instance, bans events “where patrons buy tickets to see a performance,” Don Cazentre reported at Syracuse.com last week. “It seems to have suddenly popped up in the rules this week,” he said. How does charging a cover for music put us at risk for the coronavirus? Like every other dagger in the heart of small business, it doesn’t. Enough! We can’t live like this anymore. The constant new rules, the continued dance around reopening. New York City is failing. Our governor and mayor are keeping us in a state of disarray.
Murphy’s Indoor Dining Ban Leading to Restaurant Apocalypse
Restaurant owners are facing financial ruin are growing increasingly desperate. Sen. Tony Bucco said restaurant owners facing financial ruin are growing increasingly desperate for Gov. Phil Murphy to lift a prohibition on indoor dining that he issued by executive order in March. “Governor Murphy’s five-month ban on indoor dining is leading to a restaurant apocalypse in New Jersey,” said Bucco (R-25). “Tens of thousands of restaurant workers remain unemployed, and more and more of the establishments where they worked are closing their doors forever. You can understand the desperation of restaurant owners who have invested their lives and savings into their businesses only to have it all taken away with the signing of an executive order by the governor.” According to published reports, 23% of New Jersey’s 25,000 full-service restaurants had gone out of business by the end of June. In recent public forums with the restaurant industry, 50% of the state’s restaurants were said to be at risk of going under.
Toms River Mayor Says It’s Time
For NJ to allow indoor dining. Add Toms River Mayor Maurice B. “Mo” Hill Jr. to the chorus of officials, residents and restaurant owners who think it’s time that Gov. Phil Murphy allows eateries to offer indoor dining. Hill is one of a growing number of local officials who are frustrated with the state’s reopening timetable. The Toms River mayor said he has made his feelings known during regularly scheduled calls local mayors have with the governor’s office. Hill said he does not understand why restaurants in Hunterdon County’s Lambertville cannot serve diners indoors, while those a short walk across the Delaware River in Pennsylvania’s New Hope have been serving people indoors since July.
NJ Restaurants Unite
#ReopenIndoorDiningNJ. Before New Jersey’s dining rooms closed in March, the state’s nearly 20,000 restaurants employed more than 300,000 people. More than three-quarters of those employees lost their jobs, and five months later, less than one quarter have returned to work, said Marilou Halvorsen, president and CEO of the New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association, which supports and advocates for the industry. And with dining restricted to outdoors — and warm summer weather soon coming to an end — most restaurants are in trouble. Ashley Coyte, who owns The Grand Tavern in Neptune City, and Russell Lewis, owner of Watermark in Asbury Park, are turning to social media for help: They have created the #reopenindoordiningNJ campaign.
Bill Would Provide Relief
To restaurants. Federal lawmakers want to create a $120 billion fund to aid small and locally owned restaurants that are struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic. The measure, which has drawn bipartisan backing, comes as the hospitality industry is facing stiff headwinds for the remainder of the year and as many restaurants have closed permanently. The sector remains one of the hardest hit amid the pandemic-induced recession and has one of the highest unemployment rates. Bars and restaurants that are not publicly traded or part of a chain of 20 or more locations would qualify for the aid. Aid would cover the difference between revenues from 2019 and estimated revenues through the rest of the year. The small restaurants that have taken the brunt of the crisis would be prioritized for aid, creating a two-week window for establishments that earn less than $1.5 million a year.
Winter is Coming
And restaurants are scrambling. For months, restrictions on indoor dining have forced restaurants across the country to rely on outdoor seating to survive. But as the weather gets colder, that lifeline is going away. And restaurant operators are scrambling to figure out what to do next. “Everybody is scared of the winter right now,” said Jason Kaplan, CEO of the New-York based restaurant consulting group JK Consulting. Restaurants are “still losing money, regardless of delivery and takeout and outdoor dining, they’re still not being profitable,” he said. “And they’re still having problems paying rent.” Without outdoor dining, their losses will start mounting again. Some operators won’t make it. And in areas where indoor dining has been banned outright, like New York City and New Jersey, officials haven’t laid out a clear path for its return. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press conference last week that the city would have to see more improvement in combating the coronavirus before considering the option.
Restaurants K-Shaped Recovery
The economy is headed in two directions, with some sectors recovering and others not. Economists like to label economic recessions and recoveries by giving them letters, based on the severity and duration of any downturn and how long it takes for subsequent improvement. The letter is based on how the economy looks on a graph. A V-shaped recovery is the best, for instance, as it reflects a steep decline but a recovery that is just as fast. A U-shaped economy is a longer recession or even a depression. A W-shaped economy is a double-dip recession—a recovery, followed by another recession. The current situation, however, has been likened to a different letter: K. That has received a lot of attention of late, as some economists note how uneven the recovery has been. Some sectors have done well, others have not. We can probably give that same letter to the restaurant industry.
Bill to Reimburse Restaurants for ‘False Openings’ Advances
Money would be paid to businesses that purchased items for indoor dining. Legislation to reimburse restaurants, bars and caterers that spent money on supplies in preparation for indoor dining’s return was approved by a Senate committee Monday. The bill, S-2704, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney, Senator Vin Gopal and Senator Anthony Bucco, would fund the reimbursements by appropriating $30 million to the Economic Development Authority from federal block grants allocated to the state from the CARES Act. The EDA would then provide direct financial support, by way of loans or grants, according to the bill. Restaurants were set to reopen for indoor dining early in July, but the authorization to return to business was later reversed. Many restaurant owners said that they were out thousands of dollars due to the change.
What Eating at Restaurants Was Like
More than 50 years ago. Old-school dining traditions have stuck around in the form of classic diners, and some of the country’s oldest restaurants make a point of keeping history on display, but a lot has changed since the days of drive-ins and jukeboxes in the late ’60s. Old-school diners still keep things simple by scribbling your order onto a pad of paper, but before digital registers became a mainstay. Multi-page restaurant menus that you can browse like a book were unheard of back in the day.
Did You Know?
One-in-Five small businesses to close if conditions don’t improve in 6 months. The NFIB Research Center released the latest COVID-19 related survey assessing the health crisis impact on small businesses. Congress is currently negotiating additional financial support for small businesses after the initial Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan period expired on August 8. If eligible, 44% of small businesses surveyed said they would apply or re-apply for a second PPP loan with another 31% saying they would consider applying for one. “The health crisis is not impacting small businesses equally,” said Holly Wade, NFIB director of Research and Policy Analysis. “Small businesses are adapting to the abrupt shifts in consumer spending, managing customer and employees’ health and safety, and complying with state and local mandates which are all creating additional stress for small business owners. Many of them still need more financial assistance just to keep their doors open and staff on payroll.”
I work in restaurants and I’ve never felt so disrespected. Three weeks ago, I did what many of my peers in the food world have done and reluctantly returned to work. I’m struggling with an uncomfortable feeling that follows me home each night. It is a feeling that surfaces whenever Uber Eats drivers strut in without masks on, and I have to remind them to please pull them up off their chins. It is a sensation that I encounter whenever a walk-in customer places a large order and still selects the “no tip” option. It is a mood that is impossible to fully define, even though it causes many of us to walk or bike or take a crowded bus home feeling confused and empty and tired in a way that is distinctly different from the standard exhaustion that comes after a long, busy shift.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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A new and exciting update. Bielat Santore & Company’s publishes new E-Book, “100 Days of Darkness.” The E-Book is a synopsis of events that occurred over the first 100 days of the pandemic and how our firm rallied from within to help hospitality owners and operators.
Will the devastation and loss of lives triggered by the coronavirus usher in a “Great Awakening” in America?” While the United States of America is in desperate need of reformation, activists, anarchists and radicals are wreaking havoc in the streets demanding revolution in its place. Something must change! America finds itself draped in darkness. Look up America! There is a light.
Get your copy on the firm’s website; www.123bsc.com.