Senate President Says NJ’s Reopening is Going Too Slowly
A lot of people think the state should do more to reopen the economy. Now that New Jersey has “flattened the curve” of coronavirus cases, a lot of people think the state should do more to reopen the economy. Count Senate President Stephen Sweeney as one of them. At a town hall webinar this morning with NJBIA and the State Chamber of Commerce, Sweeney did not mince words. “We’re moving too slowly,” Sweeney said. “Businesses have opened up all around us…. Every day that we hold back is another nail in the coffin of a small business, and it’s not acceptable.” Sweeney said he has been asking the administration for the data it’s using to make reopening decisions, but for eight weeks, he said he has received no answer. The senator from Gloucester County pointed to the much-anticipated Phase 2 reopening that’s going to begin on Monday as a perfect example. He wanted to know what data indicated restaurants should reopen on a Monday instead giving them a potentially lucrative weekend. “I don’t think they’re using data, to be perfectly honest with you,” Sweeney said. “Why can’t restaurants open this Friday? Why can’t they have an extra weekend?”.
What Will Happen to Restaurants When the Rent Comes Due?
The industry is not out of the woods yet. Many restaurant companies have been given a reprieve in recent weeks from their lenders and landlords, which has likely spared even more of them from declaring bankruptcy or permanently closing more units. That might only be temporary. Some executives, mainly casual dining executives, believe that permanent closures could become more commonplace in the fall once the rent comes due. “There’s going to be a blood bath,” Aziz Hashim, managing partner of NRD Capital, which owns Ruby Tuesday.
RE-PUBLICIZING RELEASE OF REOPENING PLAYBOOK IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
Bielat Santore & Company Releases NJ Restaurant Reopening Playbook
A collaboration from some of the industry’s most reputable restaurant operators. Bielat Santore & Company has formed a task force comprised of multi-unit restaurant operators to collaborate on ideas, procedures, strategies and goals as they relate to the preparation for and the reopening of restaurants and other hospitality-based businesses in New Jersey. The Mission of this “task force” is to provide a collaboration of knowledge, expertise and innovative thinking from some of the industry’s most reputable restaurant operators, that will yield a strategy for all independent restauranteurs to follow, assisting all in the transition back to “business as normal.” No one person will have all the answers, as there are so many things to consider. Safety is an important concern, but just as important is the entertainment aspect of the business. Many customers are not going to want to be eating out without the social benefits that restaurants and bars provide. Furthermore, many will not be interested in wearing masks or having their temperatures taken. Restaurants are not going to be profitable having to operate with a dining room that is one third empty. We need to work together not merely for survival, but for success!
Six Critical Points for Restaurants to Consider
Before reopening. Restaurants and bars will have to plan around tight capacity restrictions and rigorous health monitoring, among other concerns. Sit-down guidelines will force restaurants to rethink the way they do business. And it’s possible that cash-strapped patrons and workers on enhanced unemployment benefits — who don’t want to risk dying so brunchers can guzzle bottomless mimosas — will not be ready to come back. One can’t blame them. City COVID-19 deaths, which are disproportionately high in lower-income areas, have only recently dropped below 10 per day, and new daily cases, now below 100, rarely fell below 500 as of late May. Accordingly, here’s a closer look at six things restaurants should consider while deciding whether and when to relaunch.
New Restaurants Are Mad Crazy to Be Opening Right Now
Or are they? On Wednesdays, Palmetto, which opened for the first time on May 11 in Oakland, California, serves a full prime rib dinner — to go. It’s “enough to feed two people, or one really hungry person,” Christ Aivaliotis, one of the new restaurant’s owners, tells CNN Travel. But this isn’t how Palmetto or a smattering of other restaurants around the world expected to be operating in the spring of 2020. Modified menus, a bare-bones staff and the seemingly gargantuan task of attracting business in a time of such grave uncertainty are all factors in a new food and beverage operation. “It may not be ideal,” says Lilly W. Jan, a lecturer in food and beverage management at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration, but she wouldn’t call it “crazy.”
$130 Billion in Small Business Aid
Still hasn’t been used. In April, when the federal government offered $349 billion in loans to small businesses reeling from government shutdown orders in the pandemic, the funding ran out in just 13 days, prompting Congress to swiftly approve a second round of $310 billion. Small businesses have since grown more wary of taking the money. As of Monday, more than $130 billion was left in the fund, known as the Paycheck Protection Program. Even more striking was the fact that on many days last month, more money was being returned than borrowed, according to data from the Small Business Administration, which is overseeing the program — highlighting its messy execution and confusing rules that deterred some small businesses from using the money.
Did You Know?
5 ways to help your favorite restaurant bounce back to life. Many restaurant patrons stayed loyal to their favorite spots during stay home orders. Now, with restrictions being lifted, chefs and restaurant owners hope they can count on them again. But some patrons might be hesitant to venture out, even though their states are allowing dining rooms and patios to welcome patrons once more. Here are five things you can do right now to help restaurants.
When do things reopen in N.J; dates, timeline, rules. “With more and more of our businesses reopening, we are no longer requiring you to stay at home, but we are asking you to continue to be responsible and safe,” the governor said during his COVID-19 briefing in Trenton. “And, when you do go out, please continue to wear face coverings and keep a social distance from others, whenever possible.” At least 12,303 New Jersey residents have died and more than 164,700 have been infected since the first case was reported in the state on March 4. Murphy said employers should still let people work from home even as he lifted restrictions. Here’s a roundup of what’s opening and when.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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Thank you and remember all of the “Restaurant Industry Alerts” and “Thursday Restaurant Rap” interviews can be found at www.njrestaurantsforsale.com/news/. We intend to continue to keep you informed as we all look for an end to this crisis.