Where’s the Stimulus for the Hospitality Industry?

It’s no secret that restaurants are having a hard time. While the first stimulus package helped, and now the street and outside dining has helped keep many of them afloat, it appears that a good number of them are going under and there will be more to follow soon enough.

First off a very large part of society is just outright nervous or afraid to go out at all never mind to “some aerosol laden COVID-19 restaurants”. I know the few times I have gone out to eat, I always sit outside. When I can not sit outside, I check a few things first before entering. I always make sure that the restaurant is nearly empty. If it is full or has a larger capacity crowd even within COVID-19 limits, I just walk away. That makes me think that others are doing the same.

Almost every event from charity events to weddings are re-scheduled for 2021 or even canceled permanently. Holiday parties are limited and there is just no way that restaurants are not feeling the pain. Just like with retail establishments, restaurants count on the holiday season for a good portion of their annual revenues. When is the last time you received an invite to a holiday party this year or even a cocktail party? If you have, did you go? Would you go now?

As I drive to socially safe shoots and interviews I can see so many vacancies and for rent signs where restaurants have been for decades. Caterers and event planners are trying to reinvent themselves as home food delivery options and doing anything they can to microsize their operations to account for the smaller boutique size gatherings that are taking place. Even changing their business models completely to provide gourmet home meal delivery services to the masses.

So with all of these challenges clearly faced by the hospitality industry as a whole, and the limitations on commerce forced upon them, where is the second round of stimulus checks and allowances to support them? I think most of us know that both political parties are positioning themselves to be the “hero’s” after the election. Then, of course, they are going to release more Stimulus checks, etc. But for now, politicians hope to win political leverage by stalling the stimulus to benefit their own positions in the 2020 elections. To me, it just seems unfair that an entire industry should be extinguished because of political positioning and using the entire situation to gain leverage on the restaurateurs who are struggling to stay afloat.

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