This week marked the beginning of the reopening of all 50 states in some way or another. While several states began lifting restrictions over a month ago, others just began to allow curbside pickup at non-essential businesses this week. What does all of this mean for the hospitality industry? Well that depends on where you’re located. Reopening restaurants at any capacity is a difficult and controversial topic. But, should they continue to stay closed, many restaurants, especially smaller ones, may never fully recover. The debate goes on. Here are some of this week’s articles relating to the reopening of our industry.
Is it safe to eat at restaurants yet?
Several states across the country have opened in-house dining in restaurants in some capacity. Whether it be outdoor dining only, or reduced capacities, the lifted restrictions are a godsend to some, while others are left worrying if it’s really safe yet. Eater released an interesting article this week discussing this topic. No one can guarantee you that eating at a restaurant is 100% safe. But then again, can you really guarantee that ANYTHING is 100% safe? With so many unknowns, the general consensus is that the decision to dine at a restaurant is a personal one. Read the full article here, for a look at how safety precautions and risk factors can play a role in your decision.
Problems with the PPP
Since its introduction in March, the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, has been riddled with issues. Unclear guidelines, strict regulations, and weighted rules on paybacks are just a few of the problems businesses face. The main objective of the PPP loan was to ensure American’s were kept on payrolls and continued to receive benefits while social distancing and other protocols were implemented to stop the spread of the coronavirus. But, with the number of unemployment claims reaching 36 million, the PPP loan initiative could certainly use a revamp to help businesses keep their staff. Some of the proposed changes include extending the amount of time a business has to use the funds from eight weeks to 24 weeks and changing the rules around how that money has to be spent. To read more about the changes being considered, check out this article from Bar & Restaurant Online.
For those of you that work in the hotel sector, you might be looking for some tactics on reopening safely, and also ways to ensure your guests they’ll be safe when staying with you. Well, we can learn a lot from hotels in Sweden. Unlike most countries, Sweden decided not to evoke strict policies towards hotels and restaurants and instead kept most open. It’s because of this that, as restrictions are lifted in other parts of the world, we can look to Sweden for advice. Check out this recent post from ehotelier that lists out 6 tactics we can learn from hotels in Sweden that remain open during COVID-19.
As restaurants move towards reopening, wearing a mask will be second nature for most industry workers. With this new mask-wearing normal comes a plethora of fun and fashionable mask ideas to bring a touch of personality to an otherwise boring essential. Nation Restaurant News has provided us with some serious mask inspo with their slideshow of creative industry mask creations. Check out the gallery here.
The whole hospitality industry is in a tough time right now, but we are coming together to support one another until the storm passes. As people hunker down in their homes for the next indefinite period of time, look at these ideas for inspiration to bring joy to your loyal customers and provide work for your employees. To stay up to date on our latest recommendations for event professionals during this time, click here for our latest blog posts, check out our Two Chicks, Three Seats podcast, and view the recordings of our weekly Social Hour virtual roundtables.