Earlier this week, the National Restaurant Association sent a letter to the National Governors Association and the US Conference of Mayors to clear up misconceptions on the safety efforts restaurants are taking during the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter highlights how the industry was highly regulated by state and federal requirements before the pandemic and has stepped up its safety protocols to meet new state and federal mandates for reopening. The Association also sought to dispel inaccurate information about the industry though media coverage, social media and statements from some public officials.
“Throughout this public health crisis, the National Restaurant Association has been focused on making the latest and most important scientific information about the novel coronavirus and the latest best practices for operation during the pandemic easily available to the industry,” says Larry Lynch, senior vice president for Science and Industry. “Our owners, operators and employees truly believe that we are all in this together and share an unwavering commitment to customer and employee safety.”
Restaurants has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in revenue because of the pandemic, and recovery will take a long time. According to the Association, at the height of the shutdowns, the industry lost two-thirds of all jobs, and from March to June, it lost more than $145 billion in revenue. Since the start of July, nearly 100,000 dining rooms have been closed again by state or local mandates.
“Closing restaurants a second time puts dangerous strain on an industry that is struggling to stay afloat,” says Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs. “Restaurants do not open and close as easily as flipping an on/off switch. Making modifications for social distancing, purchasing PPE, training staff on new safety protocols and stocking kitchens for increased service all add to a restaurant’s bottom line. The fewer people we can serve, the more money we lose, and the less likely it is that the cornerstone restaurant in a community survives.”
The full letter sent to the National Governors Association can be found here.