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The Seemingly Long Road Ahead for Michigan Restaurants Back to Business – CBS Detroit

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CBS Detroit – As Governor Whitmer begins opening parts of the northern Michigan state, the clock is ticking for the majority of Michigan restaurants that have restaurants and bars that in many locations are either closed – or just take away and roadside.

Michigan’s restaurant industry is a $ 19 billion business, according to an article by BridgeMI. Justin Winslow, CEO of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association, said every day since March 16, when the first executive order closed dine-in, as an average of 20 restaurants will close their doors forever. BridgeMI reports that this is based on a survey conducted in mid-April that found 4% of property owners won’t reopen at all.

Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association wanted May 29th as the opening date for Michigan restaurants. Publication of a “Reopening Roadmap” listing the proposed guidelines for restaurants. However, the governor is working on a six-step reopening plan. We are currently in phase three. Restaurants would have no restricted dining options until the fifth phase.

Credit: CBS Detroit – Places like Punchbowl Social have had to lay off their employees and stay around until the state allows them to reopen.

With restaurants expected to reopen, there will certainly be restrictions on how many diners can enter, with a capacity limit of maybe 50% (or less). Experienced in other parts of the country, according to Business Insider.

James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Zimmer told Business Insider that restaurants need to be 85% to 90% busy to do it. The hospitality industry generally has very tight margins when it comes to overheads, grocery bills, and payrolls. Will some restaurants make it despite restored interior restaurants without really reassessing their business models?

With summer approaching, it might be an idea for Michigan restaurants to do what other cities around the country are considering. Closing streets in areas where restaurants and businesses can use the streets to set up extended seating. This would allow the restaurants to accommodate people, but the larger outdoor seating would allow them to adhere to social distancing guidelines. It would be easy to imagine that it would help downtown neighborhoods as well, but the challenge would be to avoid overcrowding.

Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association, said, “We feel we need to do a few things to help these places operate, mostly social distancing … and get back to business.”

From a beverage industry standpoint, Nevins said it wasn’t that easy just to open up. Restaurants and bars have been inactive for some time. Lines for beer and soft drinks need cleaning. Draft beer, for example, has a shelf life of 45 to 60 days. Whether it was typed or not. A keg of beer weighs 160 pounds, and getting those expired kegs out and replacing them with fresh ones requires special equipment, manpower, and logistics.

Justin Winslow told Bridge MI, “Customers will vote with their feet on whether or not they will feel safe when they return to their local restaurant. All a restaurant can do is demonstrate that they meet and exceed all guidelines for safe operation. ”

As local and state leaders and businesses navigate the post-COVID-19 landscape, the way we do business will change and potentially even affect the use of public spaces.

© 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Information from BridgeMi, Business Insider, and NBC News contributed to this report.

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Dusty Kennedy