NJ Indoor Malls Set to Open June 29
But not restaurants? Indoor shopping malls will reopen June 29, Gov. Phil Murphy said at today’s state press conference, lifting a ban that began March 17 and offering a ray of hope for mall retailers devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. The massive American Dream mall in Bergen County, for example, had just opened in the fall after years of planning, and was immediately hobbled as its county became a national – if not global – COVID-19 hotspot. And while indoor mall restaurants with proprietary entrances to the outside have been permitted to offer takeout and delivery service in the pandemic, those located within food courts, for example, have suffered more; the June 29 order offers malls an option for eateries to serve outdoor meals.
Restaurants are Reinventing in Real Time
Their future will emerge from what remains. Philadelphia’s restaurant comeback has officially begun. The big question: will its dining scene be recognizable in six months? An array of newly permitted tables bloomed on sidewalks and patios last weekend, as outdoor dining was finally allowed for the first time since the shutdown in March. Clear acrylic sheets are being carved into partitions intended to keep guests’ airspace contamination-free when dining rooms eventually reopen. Our masks are on, the menus are accessed on our phones, the bill can be paid contact-free. And servers? They possibly just had a “wellness check” with their temperature taken before being allowed to approach your table — provided they felt comfortable taking the risk to come back to work.
Indoor Dining at Philly Restaurants
Might start in early July. There’s a chance indoor dining at Philly restaurants could be allowed starting Friday, July 3, depending on what happens over the next two weeks. The city released its Reopening with Care plan on Thursday, June 18, outlining a strategy for moving to the third phase (a.k.a. the green phase) of Pennsylvania’s three-phase reopening plan. Philly is currently in yellow, with restaurants allowed to offer takeout, delivery, walk-up ordering, and outdoor dining. That last one, outdoor dining, just started on Friday, June 12, and includes a long list of restrictions, including limits on occupancy. In the green phase, Philly restaurants can add indoor dining, also with limited occupancy.
Businesses and Workers are Fighting Over Coronavirus Lawsuit Liability
So far, few coronavirus-related lawsuits have been filed. The next coronavirus relief package could include liability protections for businesses that would shield them from workplace lawsuits. Republicans and trade groups argue that the fear of lawsuits could keep businesses from reopening, while labor groups say liability protections could shield employers who aren’t keeping their workers safe. As U.S. stores, restaurants and offices reopen in some parts of the country following coronavirus shutdowns, many businesses are worried they’ll see an uptick in lawsuits from sick workers and customers.
Servers Are in the Spotlight
As restaurants re-open to guests. Chefs get the attention. Menus capture diners’ imagination. But when it comes to the people with whom customers interact, servers play the most important role. Restaurant wait staff has never been more in the spotlight than now, as restaurants re-open after shut down orders. The server is the face of the restaurant. The chef can look great on the website and get all the magazine articles and all that, but if the server is not doing a good job, the chef is not getting any of that. Inside dining rooms, servers will be the key factor in reinforcing a restaurant’s sanitary steps to customers.
When Can Restaurants Tune Back into Sports?
Here’s what the major leagues and associations are saying. Sports fans may be waiting a long time before they can catch live broadcasts of their favorite major league teams on the flatscreens of reopened restaurant dining rooms. Fortunately for the diehards, there’s already televised golf and NASCAR racing. Here’s a quick rundown of where pro sports stand at mid-June.
What Social Distancing Should Look Like
At restaurants. As restaurants and bars reopen, they’re being asked to limit capacity and comply with social distancing guidelines. These public-health measures can significantly reduce profits — but designers have come up with a plan for restaurants to make money while keeping customers safe. Restaurants and bars are beginning to reopen across the US, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still advises that drive-through, delivery, and take-out are the safest dining options.
Did You Know?
You can buy a giant plate of Chicken Parm from Olive Garden for your Dad this Father’s Day. You’re ready with a gift for dad and a sweet card, but there’s just one thing missing—the meal. For those who don’t want to actually get cooking, you’re in luck. Restaurants and chains across the country are offering bundle meals and deals for Father’s Day that would be make for a great at-home brunch or dinner in honor of the guy that does it all. Here’s everything available in 2020.
Who would get a second stimulus check — and who wouldn’t? A recent Census Bureau survey shows that nearly half of U.S. households have taken a painful hit to their pocketbook during the steep recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic, spurring calls for the federal government to offer Americans more direct financial assistance. While it’s unclear whether Congress will approve a second stimulus check anytime soon, lawmakers are at least considering opening the spigot. The proposed $3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions, or HEROES, Act would authorize another batch of stimulus payments for most households.
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