From the NJ Restaurant & Hospitality Association (NJRHA):
Representatives from New Jersey’s largest venue and restaurant owners, and the
NJ Restaurant & Hospitality Association (NJRHA) spoke out today about how the COVID-19 pandemic is shattering the state’s largest private-sector employer. The group presented a new, safe dining plan with enhanced sanitation protocols, discussed the challenges of outdoor dining, fall predictions, and highlighted their industry’s economic and community impact, which will be presented through a 30-day #IServeJersey social media campaign.
Impact on the Industry
“Sadly, current estimates suggest 30 percent of restaurants that make up the culture and personality of our state will close,” said Marilou Halvorsen, president of NJRHA, “Hit even harder are our state’s largest wedding venues. Their complete closure has led to a ripple effect in the industry, where professionals like photographers, videographers, florists, and musicians, to name a few, are all out of work,” she added.
Late June, the governor indefinitely reversed the opening of indoor dining a few days before it was to happen. This surprising shift has resulted in heightened emotional and financial hardships for all, especially now that the midway point of summer has passed—this industry’s most robust time for partial economic recovery.
Meanwhile, the industry quickly responded and tightened their safe dining plans to include more enhanced sanitation efforts for less people with more social distancing, in hopes of cracking the door on reopening indoor dining and activities soon, to no avail.
Recently an uptick in COVID-19 cases, the highest since early June, has been attributed by the Governor as a result of indoor house parties and other unruly gatherings hosted by young people, where [mask-wearing] or social distancing were not [observed].
“We have the ability to control where people sit, what they touch, and how they mingle, unlike indoor house parties or other unauthorized gatherings which seem to be on the rise as people hunger to socialize and celebrate,” said Halvorsen. “I’m confident we are not, nor will we become, the super spreaders of this virus, not with the knowledge and systems our industry has already put in place,” she added.
Follow the link to view NJRHA’s recorded virtual press conference.