The cold puts thousands of Michigan restaurants and hotels at risk of closure, says MRLA

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) sounds the alarm about the imminent fight of the cold during the coronavirus pandemic.

The MRLA has released new economic impact data outlining the devastation that will be wreaked on Michigan’s hospitality industry, the state’s second largest employer, as the coldest months approach if no action is taken. action and mandatory capacity reductions remain.

The MRLA says that while expanded outdoor patio seating, good weather and federal stimulus funding have helped sustain the industry all summer, more than half of Michigan hotels remain unprofitable and nearly a quarter of the state’s restaurants do not plan to be in business over six months.

“The hospitality industry in Michigan is in a precarious position this fall as lower temperatures and mandatory restrictions on indoor capacity threaten its very existence,” said Justin Winslow, president and CEO. ‘MRLA.

According to an MRLA survey, 23% of Michigan operators (about 4,000 locations) say their restaurant is unlikely to be in business again in six months. 62% of restaurant operators report increased operating costs since the start of COVID-19, mainly due to new personal protective equipment and sanitation standards.

Despite driving employment gains statewide this summer, Michigan restaurants operate with 1/3 fewer employees than the rest at this time of year.

According to MRLA, Michigan hotel occupancy rates fell 23.5 percent from last year.

In response, MRLA launched the “Don’t Leave the Michigan Hospitality Industry Out of the Cold” campaign, which includes a list of common sense public policy solutions to help Michigan restaurants and hotels survive the transition. towards a colder and less predictable autumn season.

Don’t Leave Michigan’s Hospitality Industry Out of the Cold Proposals Include:

  • Allow Michigan Statewide Meeting and Banquet Centers equal access to the restaurant market with 50% capacity indoors with adequate standards of social distancing and sanitation
  • Allow restaurants to maintain the expanded capacity gained through courtyards and other outdoor solutions this summer, allowing them to safely winter those spaces while also extending their temporary permits for alcohol service
  • Allow for greater indoor capacity, both in restaurants and banquet centers if data reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services falls below a three percent positive test rate for an extended period
  • Restore Pure Michigan funding to encourage the restoration of safe travel.
  • Promote and subsidize the education and training required to obtain the credentials associated with the MRLA ServSafe Dining commitment

“The Michigan hospitality industry, through innovation and determination, has taken up the challenge of providing a secure service to its guests and employees. The state’s contact tracking data validates the relative safety of our operations, “added Winslow.” We have provided realistic solutions and are ready to work collaboratively with the governor, legislator and local leaders across the state to help the transition. sure of this sector indoors as the seasons change. We need to act quickly as nearly 5,000 small businesses and well over 100,000 jobs are in the balance. “

Restaurants across the state have been opening with limited capacity since June 8.

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