As Bars and Restaurants Reopen Owners Face New Realizations
New Realities Paint Grim Picture for Many
Cristal M Clark
As bars and restaurants start to reopen owners are facing new challenges due to social distancing rules, many owners are worried that the rules could force them to close permanently.
Because of the rules across the country many bars and restaurants are being forced to service less than 50% or less of the capacity they can serve which also means they do not need as many employees. In fact the rules go beyond this industry as offices have reopened many employees learned rather quickly that what they assumed was a temporary lay-off is now a permanent one due the size of the offices employers are simply unable to bring back the staff they once had and many will choose to bring back the lower paid staff over the seasoned and qualified staff that they had due to loss of funds through the statewide shutdowns.
For the bar and restaurant industry, they cannot make a profit because of the social distancing rules for one reason, restaurants and bars need volume and traffic to make them work.
The math that holds this industry together is pretty simple. Margins were already razor thin, which then forced eateries and bars to pack in customers every night, especially on the weekends, in order to stay open. In the toughest markets, that means multiple waves of guests, and tables that are pushed together as closely as possible. Social Distancing rules do not accommodate that. What’s more is that consumers are still not confident enough to really want to frequent the eateries and bars as often as they once might have.
That equals no profits.
If you have seating for 200 in some states you will only be able to accommodate 25% of that, and that’s if you can accommodate that 25% while also socially distancing your customers. To make matters worse for small bars and venues it will be even more difficult to manage and accommodate the rules and still stay afloat while serving less than half of what they had been.
All of this points to many of the bars, restaurants and venues we’ve been used to seeing and going to, are now going to be a thing of the past. Here in Denver it seems that every week we learn of more choosing to close for good because they simply will not be able to make it past the shut down when they are unable to fully reopen like that once did. Bars who are used to packing people in, sometimes shoulder to shoulder are going to feel the hit even worse.
All of this illustrates an even more grim future for the entertainment and live event industry, who are most likely going to be the last thing to be brought back. That industry is taking an even bigger hit than originally anticipated and those gig workers are finding themselves out of the opportunity to make and earn a living. Many are now hoping that fans will pay for virtual shows and albums but again, with consumer spending at an all time low, it is unlikely these smaller time artists will see the numbers they so greatly need from fans.
As we all look for some sense of normalcy and I hope many of you find it, we need to keep those that are still being held in limbo in mind and offer our empathy and support as much as possible.
Cristal M Clark