Murphy May Stop Reopenings
If COVID-19 cases keep rising. Gov. Phil Murphy, speaking to CNBC on Monday, said New Jersey may have to suspend further reopenings if cases continue to rise. Murphy made the comments two days after the Garden State had its highest daily number of new cases in four months Murphy suggested that he would not do a rewind and shut down what’s already been opened, such as indoor and outdoor dining and schools. But it does mean that the state would hold off on expanding indoor dining – something that lawmakers and merchants have pushed hard for. They don’t believe restaurants can survive when they can only open to 25 percent of their capacity.
The Goal Is to Make It Through This
To survive the pandemic, restaurants put reinvention on the menu. At least 100,000 restaurants have closed in the past six months, according to a September report from the National Restaurant Association. Nearly 3 million workers remain out of work, and the food service industry is on track to lose $240 billion, says the trade group. On top of this, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently predicted that most of the American public will not have access to a vaccine until late spring or summer of next year. It’s hard to think about the future when you’re treading water with weights on, but time and again, challenges have brought out the best in restaurants.
Selling a Restaurant Business Amidst a Pandemic
No one has a crystal ball to predict when the pandemic will come to end and what the “new normal” will look like. With outdoor dining nearing an end, at least in the northeast, and indoor capacities limited to 25-50%, it is evident that the food and beverage business face an uphill battle. In the current context, the question is what they must do to get through this crisis and go back to business as normal when it ends or what they must do now to get out of business and move on with their lives. The average small business owner in America is 60 years old, according to Barlow Research Associates, and 40% of owners are 65 and older. Many are considering selling out because they don’t want to put their time, energy or resources into rebuilding during or after the pandemic. Many business owners who want to cash out and retire are worried they won’t be able to do that for years because of Covid-19. Nothing could be further from the truth. Investors with capital are always looking for opportunity, no matter what is happening in the market.
Think it’s Hard Keeping a Restaurant Open in a Pandemic?
Try opening one. Opening a restaurant in America’s most expensive city is daunting at any time. But doing so during the coronavirus crisis is forcing nascent New York City restaurateurs to cook up survival strategies before they even take their first orders. It’s extremely difficult: You put a lot of capital into opening a new restaurant, and you need to start generating revenue right away,” explained New York City Hospitality Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie. “So those people who were ready to open have a lot of debt [and] uncertainty, and they’ve been sitting for the past six months.” Some 100,000 restaurants nationwide, nearly one in six, have gone under as a result of the pandemic, according to the National Restaurant Association.
Five Reasons to be Bullish on Restaurants’ Future
Despite closures, bankruptcies and uncertainty, the industry has proven to be more resilient than expected. Much of the restaurant industry remains in shambles right now. For most of the country, capacity is limited. Chains are filing for bankruptcy. Independents continue to close, including some old and popular local concepts. The U.S. consumer really likes to eat restaurant food and they demonstrated that quickly into the pandemic. In mid-April, restaurant sales spiked shortly after people received stimulus checks, and they continued to increase through July, where they’ve remained at a relatively stable level. Customers through support to favorite local restaurants, even investing in some cases. But it’s not just a want. Consumers need restaurants.
NJ Restaurant Owner Says He’d Rather Go to Jail
Then follow COVID-19 restrictions. A New Jersey restaurant owner says he’d rather go to jail rather than limit capacity at his eatery as per coronavirus restrictions. Dominick Restaino, owner of Cuban Pete’s in Montclair, told NorthJersey.com he’ll continue to buck Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order placing a 25 percent capacity limit on indoor dining. Restaino’s reason for deifying the order is that he can’t make money when his dining room is limited but fully staffed with his 48 employees. Restaino, who has operated Cuban Pete’s for 16 years, argued that all restaurants should return to being “open 100 percent.”
Coronavirus Forces 2 Popular Atlantic City Restaurants to Close Permanently
Victims of the coronavirus and the restrictions that came with it. Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Buddakan and The Continental, which have been closed since mid-March, will not reopen. Both were located inside the former Playground Pier, which Caesars Entertainment recently repurchased from developer Bart Blatstein. The pier has had extremely low levels of foot traffic and a majority of its stores have been empty for more than a year. The two eateries combined employed more than 100 people. Employees were notified late Monday that the businesses would not reopen.
This Restaurant’s Revenue is Better Than Last Year
Here’s how owners can survive even in COVID-19 winter. In a year when thousands of restaurants have closed and many more are struggling to hang on, Bar Bombón in Philadelphia currently is enjoying sales 5% to 10% above last year’s levels. With Bar Bombón restricted to takeout and delivery orders, sales fell by the end of March to 10% of normal revenue levels. Yet remarkably the restaurant is currently exceeding last year’s revenue, despite the fact that indoor dining just began in Philadelphia at 25% capacity in early September. Though the last few months have been among the most challenging of her career, Marquis has proven that restaurants can survive and even thrive amid the pandemic.
Did You Know?
Half of NYC restaurants, bars may close for good. As many as half of all New York City bars and restaurants could shutter permanently within the next six months due to the coronavirus, according to a stunning new audit released Thursday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. The report lays bare the extent of the pandemic’s fiscal impact on one of the city’s lifeblood industries, which only saw a return to indoor dining on Wednesday — at a meager 25 percent of normal seating capacity. In the next half-year, a third to half of all city bars and eateries could fall past the point of no return, potentially taking over 150,000 jobs with them.
NYC restaurant jobs still down sharply from pre-covid levels; NJ jobless claims up 10% New York City’s restaurants are employing only slightly more than half the number of people they were before the coronavirus wreaked havoc in the industry, according to a report released Thursday by the state comptroller. There were more than 315,000 people employed in the city restaurant sector in February, which dropped dramatically to 91,000 in April at the height of the virus surge and business restrictions. Across the Hudson River, New Jersey is dealing with some sobering jobs numbers of its own. About 27,000 people sought unemployment benefits last week, a 10 percent increase compared with the week before.
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SELLING A RESTAURANT BUSINESS AMIDST A PANDEMIC.
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