When Will N.J. Ease Indoor Dining Limits?
Restaurants should take new indoor sports order as a good sign, Murphy says. Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday said he still doesn’t have a date for when he may increase coronavirus capacity limits on indoor dining at New Jersey’s restaurants. But he encouraged people to take his new decision to allow indoor winter sports as a positive sign. “I do hope it’s sooner than later,” Murphy told NJ Advance Media when asked when he’ll allow more indoor dining, which is currently capped at 25% of a restaurant’s capacity. “We’re trying to make sure we have our arms around exactly why we’re seeing the numbers we’re seeing.”
Support Independent Restaurants
As the weather gets colder in many places. Even with outdoor dining this summer, many restaurants across the country have closed or remain on the brink of disaster — especially smaller, independently owned neighborhood businesses. Loyal patrons have rallied to support their favorite local restaurants, but as the pandemic drags on, business owners have had to hustle hard to stay afloat. With colder weather in many places discouraging outdoor dining, things are set to get even harder. Mom-and-pop restaurants, which often don’t have an online presence, now find themselves at a disadvantage to well-funded national chains. So, what can you do to help your beloved neighborhood restaurants and food businesses to weather the storm?
Future Food and Beverage Business
In a post-pandemic world. What we once knew as dining as usual has taken a drastic shift in the past months. Foodservice operators have been forced to think on their feet, quickly adapting and innovating to stay aﬂoat. Consumer behaviors and the dining industry changed in what felt like overnight. Shelter-in-place, social distancing and work from home orders limited the extent to which consumers could dine in person, let alone follow common routines such as socializing with friends, picking up their morning coffee on the way to work, buying groceries and more. Though much has changed, consumers are looking forward to dining at restaurants. Demand for what restaurants offer is surely not going away. Yes, if working from home becomes more prevalent, as seems likely post-pandemic, the lunch business could take a permanent hit. And if working from home encourages lots more people to work from places less expensive than New York and San Francisco, that could cut demand for restaurant dining in such cities. But those who work remotely tend to settle not in the middle of nowhere but in smaller cities with attractive physical surroundings and lots of restaurants and bars and brewpubs.
Bubbles, Tents and Greenhouses
Restaurants get creative to keep outdoor diners warm. Ice huts, yurts and tents have been growing in popularity over the last several years as restaurateurs looked to extend the life of their outdoor patio. This year, the popularity of such structures is soaring, thanks to capacity limits restricting the number of diners inside restaurants. The coronavirus pandemic has forced restaurant owners to get creative to keep their businesses afloat. Florida is among the few states that have allowed bars and restaurants to return to full capacity, but the overwhelming majority of eateries are still navigating how to attract as many customers as possible while obeying social distancing measures. Some operators responded to expanded outdoor dining with set-ups meant to reflect the aesthetic of their indoor dining rooms. But seating customers outside also means reckoning with the weather.
A&W Finds the Gale Force of the Pandemic
To be a tailwind. Having a drive-thru proved a crucial strategic advantage after the pandemic scrambled Americans’ dining-out habits. Having a drive-thru in the distant areas where urban consumers fled to escape coronavirus? The burger chain ended August with an 8.2% rise in same-store sales, and numbers still being crunched for September show a comparable increase likely to be in double digits. A big part of that, according to Bazner, was A&W’s heritage of developing restaurants in seasonal getaways and areas outside of big population centers. Those were the very areas where many people rode out the COVID-19 crisis as offices closed and big cities turned into COVID hot spots. What were weekend or vacation homes became full-time mountain or lakeside residences, and inner-city apartment dwellers wondered why they were living in a shoebox when they could buy or rent a house in the country at much lower rates. After all, they didn’t need to be near their inner-city jobs any longer.
Restaurateur Danny Meyer on Stimulus Need
We cannot reemploy people if we go out of business. Famed restaurateur Danny Meyer told CNBC that the dining industry desperately needs government aid due to the coronavirus pandemic, warning of significant economic damage without it. “I think that the country needs to understand that this is an industry with 600,070 members. We are too broad to fail,” he said. “We’re not like the auto industry or airline industry, where you can get your arms around just a small handful of carriers.” As of Aug. 31, Yelp data showed that 32,109 restaurants in the U.S. had closed during the pandemic, 61% of which were classified as permanent. The other 39% were considered temporary.
Twenty Percent of the New York State’s Hotel Supply Could Close
As the pandemic continues to devastate the hospitality industry. Seven months since Covid-19 struck the United States, the hospitality industry is still reeling. A growing number of hotels have been forced to shutter their doors permanently, and the need for federal relief is growing dire. The latest property to fall victim to the pandemic is the 1,015-room Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. The nearly 100-year-old Midtown property has long been a staple of the Big Apple and has served as the backdrop for iconic films and television shows, such as “Maid in Manhattan,” “Men in Black 3” and “Blue Bloods.” New York City is among the destinations hit the hardest by the pandemic. According to the latest Manhattan Lodging Index from PricewaterhouseCoopers, more than half (58 percent) of Manhattan hotels remain closed. Findings from the report show approximately 61,450 hotel rooms in the city had not reopened as of early September. Of these, nearly 2,700 are expected to be shuttered permanently.
N.J. to Provide $100M More
To help businesses, restaurants, families hurt by COVID-19 pandemic. As New Jersey continues to cope with the economic fallout of COVID-19, the state is giving out $100 million more in federal coronavirus aid to help restaurants, small businesses, and families hurt by the pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday. More than half of the money is for a pool of $70 million that businesses can apply for as part of the state Economic Development Authority’s coronavirus businesses assistance grant program. That, Murphy said, $35 million to help the state’s restaurants and food service industry “stay open” and $15 million to help “microbusinesses” with no more than five employees. Those are companies the governor said have been particularly hit hard by the economic downturn.
Did You Know?
Grounded airline planes turned into pop-up restaurants sell out in 30 minutes. Amidst plunging revenues due to the pandemic, Singapore Airlines is turning two of its Airbus A380 planes parked at Changi Airport into impromptu restaurants on October 24th and 25th, and it’s proved surprisingly popular. Bloomberg reports that all seats at the restaurants sold out within 30 minutes of bookings opening, as people rushed to recapture the excitement of balancing a tiny meal on an even tinier fold-down airline table. Singapore Airlines is selling four different tiers of meals according to Bloomberg, ranging from a meal in a suite for around $474, right down to an economy experience for the equivalent of $39. Around half the planes’ seats will be available for dining to allow for social distancing.
Second stimulus check update: Senate to vote on revised bill next week. Senate Republicans plan to vote on a narrowly focused coronavirus stimulus bill next week after being asked to do so by aides to Donald Trump, even as the president pushed for broader legislation, according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell, R-Ky., said Tuesday that the bill would renew the paycheck protection program, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses who keep their workers on their payrolls. It also would include other unspecified “targeted relief for American workers.” He did not say whether the bill would include another stimulus payment to taxpayers.
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