Like many Americans around the nation, I have a hankering for a particular meal that I just can’t get at the moment, thanks to the coronavirus and our collective duty in social distancing.
You see, restaurants around the nation are just barely squeaking by at the moment. With dining rooms closed, and bartenders and wait stuff not needed, some eateries have adapted by offering delivery or curbside service, allowing customers to pay electronically online to minimize contact time during transactions.
But this is not a sustainable model for restaurants who rely heavily on bar sales and happy hours.
John Taffer, a bonafide expert on the bar industry, is now weighing in on what’s next for our local favorites.
“The biggest worry that I have is the premise of spacing continuing into retail environments,” Taffer said.
He then provided an example saying, “people aren’t going to want to sit shoulder to shoulder right at the end of this.”
“They are still going to be cautious and want some spacing so when restaurants start to space out their tables it reduces seating capacity by 40 to 50 percent and nobody is talking about this,” he continued, explaining that this will lessen the revenue that restaurants can bring in.
“When we consider the change in capacity, this could affect sports arenas, it could affect movie theaters, it could affect Broadway so if the seating capacity of these businesses is going to get changed and our overall revenue capacity lowered as a result of it, that’s really powerful,” he continued.
And while the Bar Rescue host believes that the “Phase 3” economic stimulus package signed by President Trump last week is certainly a good start, he admits that there could be more relief needed still.
“I get that we have to make it through the pandemic, but we need a plan to jump-start these businesses and make sure they’re solvent when they begin and get the consumer back,” Taffer concluded.
Here’s to hoping he’s heard on Capitol Hill, because this author is going to need his grub when this is all over.
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