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The Latest News on COVID-19's Impact on Bars & Restaurants

  • by: Maggie Mahar
  • On: 13, Mar 2020
173 min read

Many industries are beginning to feel the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. But none more so than the hospitality industry. Bars, restaurants, hotels and cruise ships are experiencing a dramatic decline in customer traffic. To put it bluntly, the situation downright sucks. But no matter where you fall within the industry, it's important to stay informed. And if you've come here, you've come to the right place. We'll be updating this page live, as we continue coverage on this ongoing global pandemic. 

March 30

How to Prepare Draft Systems for Cleaning and Temporary Closure

It’s likely that beer reps clean and maintain the draft systems for operators and managers with whom they have a good relationship. Still, this is information every owner, operator, manager and bartender should know.

Twin Cities Restaurants Feed Hungry Kids as Minnesota Schools Close Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Restaurants offering free meals to kids who depend on school lunch.

March 29

Zoom cooking classes and online tastings: How restaurants are fighting coronavirus

With customers locked in their homes, bars, cafes and restaurants around the world are coming up with clever ways to stay afloat.

March 27

What’s It Like to Work in Wine Right Now?

Daily stories from sommeliers, retailers, winemakers and importers working in the wake of COVID-19.

Best safety practices for delivery and takeout in the COVID-19 age

Ecolab manager offers advice on methods and protocols in off-premise food amid the coronavirus pandemic.

If the Stimulus Package Fails Independent Restaurants, It Fails America

Simply put, the deal isn’t good enough for small business owners or millions of service workers.

Analysts Report on Macro Impacts of COVID-19 Across Food and Beverage Industry

In a webinar hosted by Rabobank yesterday, analysts at the multinational banking and financial services company offered an overview of the macro impacts of COVID-19 on the food and beverage industry.

Yelp, GoFundMe Make COVID-19 Fundraisers for Restaurants Without Their Permission

Blindsiding businesses that were already in a tough position.

March 26

Everything to Know About How the $2 Trillion Stimulus Helps (and Fails) Restaurants

NYC hospitality workers will earn their full salary while out of work, but loans to restaurants carry tight strings.

With Their Restaurants Closed, Chefs Turn to Instagram Live to Inspire Home Cooks

How social media offers valuable information and a sense of community as folks stay at home.

March 25

What’s the Best Thing You Can Do After Letting Brewery Staff Go? Stay Connected

Between now and when things "blow over", it's extremely important to stay connected with the employees you've had to let go.

Atlanta Restaurants Now Serving As Neighborhood Markets and Food Pantries

Restaurants and counter-serve joints selling everything from milk, bread, and eggs to toilet paper, wine, and beer.

Colorado Wants Craft Breweries To Capture The CO2 Their Brews Burp Out, And Make Some Cash From It

To reach its lofty greenhouse gas reduction goals, the state says it's necessary to look at all solutions, big and small.

March 24

Four Bartenders Remember How They Coped with Crises Past

"Even in desperate times like this, the idea of hospitality doesn't go away."

The New Craft Beer Community

Craft beer is defined by change but the industry has never seen anything like this.

Until the Government Orders a Rent Freeze, Here’s How Restaurant Owners Should Talk to Landlords About COVID-19

Lawyer Jasmine Moy breaks down how to approach landlords — and why you need an attorney right now.

Keep Track of How the Coronavirus Is Impacting Atlanta’s Food Scene

Stories and news on COVID-19’s impact on restaurants and bars around Atlanta.

March 23

Here are the current temporary restrictions imposed on bars and restaurants to stem the spread of coronavirus

Nation’s Restaurant News has collected the most recent restrictions from official statements and news reports.

Looking to Help Your Staff? These Nine Companies are Hiring

Try these suggestions as another alternative for your staff to find the necessary wages to pay their bills while we wait for the coronavirus pandemic to pass.

DoorDash Launches #openfordelivery, Collaborates With Rival Third-Party Apps Like Grubhub and Uber Eats

This campaign is one of many that have sprung up to support the restaurant industry during coronavirus pandemic.

Chefs Edward Lee, Alon Shaya and Others Start Restaurant Workers Relief Program for Employees Impacted by Coronavirus

Chef Edward Lee started a relief program to provide food, funds, and supplies for out-of-work foodservice industry employees

Restaurant Workers on How Their Lives Have Been Changed By The Coronavirus

Many servers, baristas, and bartenders have already been laid off. Now they’re looking to the government for help.

COVID-19 and Food Safety

A comprehensive guide to food safety the novel coronavirus.

'Can we last two weeks?': What it's like to be a Restaurant Worker During Coronavirus

These are the personal stories of five people's jobs have been taken by the coronavirus pandemic.

Draft System Recommendations During Times of Shutdown

These are unprecedented times. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many breweries, bars, and restaurants are being forced to stop serving draught beer for a while.

What It’s Like to Work in a New York Restaurant Right Now

Jessica Quinn, the pastry chef at Rezdôra, in New York's Flatiron District, recounts her day-to-day amid the coronavirus crisis.

NYC restaurants stop offering takeout due to coronavirus crisis

New York’s once-thriving restaurant scene is fast becoming a graveyard.

March 22

Op-Ed: Why Restaurateurs Are Demanding—And Deserve—A Bailout

Denver's Chef Paul C. Reilly asks for the government’s help now, so independent restaurants can be here for us later.

While Chain Restaurants Ask For Government Bail-Outs, Most Refuse To Bail Out Sick Hourly Employees

While restaurant owners around the country beg lawmakers to offer them financial relief and assistance to comply with legally mandated orders to temporarily close their dining rooms in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, only a few national chains are doing anything to ensure all of their hourly workers physically and economically survive the pandemic.

March 21

Coronavirus Has Changed the Way We See Restaurants and Bars

The pandemic has shown Americans that the millions of service industry employees are an economic force. But until this moment, did patrons and lawmakers ever really see us?

March 20

How This Cocktail Delivery Program Is Helping Bartenders

A quick business pivot helps bartenders, small businesses and drinkers, too.

A List of Resources for Coronavirus-Affected Restaurant Owners And Chefs

As Los Angeles restaurants continue to close or limit service due to recommendations by the city, county, and state, these resources are available for restaurant owners.

Restaurants Pivot to Groceries and Meal Kits to Save Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As dining rooms empty, restaurants, like Founding Farmers, set up markets to feed consumers

Yelp Adds 'Contact-Free' Delivery Option to Help Aid Restaurants During Coronavirus

The new feature comes through a partnership with Grubhub and arrives next week.

Virtual Happy Hour, Barbell Rentals, DIY Craft Kits: Colorado Businesses Share Their Coronavirus Survival Strategies

In these trying times of COVID-19 and government-mandated business shut downs, small business owners are getting creative as they’re forced to pivot or else face layoffs or permanent closures.

Coronavirus Forces Restaurants to get Creative: How to get Takeout, Family Meals, Alcohol

When times get tough, restaurants get creative.

March 19

NYC Is ‘Considering’ Sales Tax Payment Delay After Restaurant Outcry

The decision, which will come later on Thursday, will have a huge impact on restaurants and bars currently in crisis mode, business owners say.

Here Are The Coronavirus Restrictions in Southern California

Southern California has taken sweeping measures since Monday to end dine-in restaurant eating, close gyms and movie theaters.

What Happens to New Restaurants Trying to Open in the Middle of a Pandemic?

So much uncertainty has thrown Detroit’s restaurants into limbo. Business owners talk about the resulting fear and anxiety.

The Eat Index: OC: How Coronavirus is Impacting Restaurants, Bars, Breweries and Wineries

Across Southern California, independent restaurants, which often run on smaller profit margins, feared that even a temporary closure could be devastating. Many were trying to adapt by offering menu items to-go, delivering food and rearranging their seating, among other methods.

Restaurants Adapt Amid Coronavirus Closures

Boulder County restaurateurs have quickly transitioned their businesses to accommodate a mandate that all restaurants and bars in the state close to dine-in services for 30 days.

March 18

Quieted Kitchens Turn From Feeding Customers to Making Meals for Food Shelf

Restaurants like The Bachelor Farmer and Alma in Minnesota are donating food, space, and skill.

D.C.’s Beer Hall-Turned-Relief Center Needs More Help From Chefs

Hook Hall in Park View is now a pickup point for care packages and meals.

The Livelihoods of Food-Service Workers Are Completely Uncertain

Whether restaurant-industry workers are still showing up to work or have been laid off, no one knows what could happen next

March 17

What The Hell Are Bar And Restaurant Workers Supposed To Do For The Next Few Months?

"I'm not worried about this virus; I'm worried about all these other things."

What It’s Like to Open a Restaurant in San Francisco During the Coronavirus Crisis

Bay Area restaurateur Reem Assil opened a new location of her bakery on San Francisco’s bustling Mission Street on March 11, but less than a week later, the city has basically shut down.

IRA Policy on Illinois Selling Alcohol To-Go

FAQ on the new policies and procedures surrounding selling alcohol for carry out, pick up, and delivery.

Here are the Current Temporary Restrictions Imposed on Bars and Restaurants to Stem the Spread of Coronavirus

Nation’s Restaurant News has collected the most recent restrictions from official statements and news reports.

A Critic and a Restaurant Face the Pandemic over Pastries (6 feet Apart)

A Los Angeles food critic recounts the trials and tribulations he faces as the global pandemic continues to disrupt the lives of the LA food scene.

Chicago’s Food World Reacts to Coronavirus Challenges

Read, in their own words, how Chicago restaurant leaders are coping with the new reality.

Alcohol Delivery Could Be a Salve for Ailing Chicago Restaurants

The state is encouraging restaurants to offer beer and wine for delivery and carry out.

How an Extraordinary Secret Meeting of Chicago Chefs Grew into a Commanding Voice to Seek Help From the Governor

 It began with one text message. ... By 1 p.m. Sunday, the meeting that had begun with a single text message had become a standing-room affair at Chef's Special.

Front of House, Top of Mind — What COVID-19 Means for the Beer Industry’s Frontline Staff

While the rest of the country mercurially responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, front-of-house employees in the hospitality industry are already feeling its force.

How to Help Chicago Bar and Restaurant Workers During the COVID-19 Outbreak

A running log of merch, prizes, and donation opportunities to help bridge the gap for employees during the mandated closure.

How Coronavirus Is Impacting LA’s Food World

Tracking how COVID-19 is impacting restaurant policies, events, and more

As Restaurants Go, So Goes Everything Else

To fight the pandemic, restaurants are shuttering across America with no aid in sight. What will happen to the rest of us?

To Provide Its Neighborhood With Some Sense of Normalcy, a Small Restaurant Becomes a Grab-and-Go Market

Diners will be able to shop for meals, as well as like fresh flowers, facial scrubs, and jams, at chef Minh Phan’s Porridge and Puffs

March 16

A Running List of the Chains Providing — and Not Providing — Paid Sick Leave

From McDonald’s to Whole Foods, Starbucks to Popeyes, here is what chains are offering (or denying) employees amid the coronavirus pandemic.

How New York City’s Bars and Restaurants Are Pivoting to Alcohol Delivery

Among all the understandable fears surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus right now, New Yorkers faced a dilemma this weekend: Should the city’s residents offer their characteristic solidarity with those in the hospitality industry, by continuing to dine out in restaurants and bars (albeit under capacity caps), or should New Yorkers instead adhere to the strict government guidelines calling for social distancing?

Chefs, Restaurant Owners Come Together To Ask City, State — And You — For Help During Coronavirus Shutdown

Chicago-area bars and restaurants are urging the state to give emergency unemployment benefits to all hourly and salaried workers, eliminate payroll tax for business owners and call for rent and loan abatement for workers.

Restaurant Owners Demand Help Amid COVID-19 Shutdown

Some 50 chefs and restaurateurs have taken to social media to ask the governor for immediate relief for furloughed workers with a two-week ban on dining in.

COVID-19 & the Fair Labor Standards Act Q&A

The U.S. Department of Labor answers questions pertaining to the current global pandemic. Find out more above.

How Should Restaurants Clean in Coronavirus Cases?

As more restaurants discover workers with suspected coronavirus diagnoses, operators are finding ways to scrub the units from top to bottom and to allay customer concerns.

Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.

How Restaurants Are Radically Changing To Deal With Coronavirus

Restaurants are responding by doing what they can to assuage a nation that will be increasingly isolated, deciding whether to close entirely or to limit their business to takeout and delivery.

Some Breweries Switch to Delivery, To-Go Options As Others Close Doors

Many Colorado breweries are closing their doors in the interest of public health or switching to new formats in the hope of staying in business.

COVID-19 Response Fund

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Feeding America is committed to serving communities and individuals facing hunger across America, wherever they are. 

Coronavirus: Workers Affected by Economic Realities

Authorities estimate approximately 7,000 family businesses have had to close, facing zero turnover.

March 15

Coronavirus Update: All Illinois Restaurants, Bars to Close for Inside Dining for 2 Weeks to Limit COVID-19 Spread, Governor Says

Beginning end of business Monday, March 16, through March 30, all Illinois bars and restaurants will be closed for inside dining. Take out and delivery will be allowed. More details above.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Will Soon Order Citywide Lockdown of Bars and Dine-In Restaurants

Bars are set to close today, and dine-in restaurants are likely to follow. If you're in Los Angeles, here's everything you need to know.11 things that changed today around COVID-19

Colorado Restaurants Step Up In the Face of COVID-19

Doors are closing, but local restaurants are also quickly adapting to provide delivery and pick-up orders, and banding together to feed colleagues and the community.

How Bars and Restaurants Can Survive the COVID-19 Crisis

10 recommendations for bars and restaurants to follow during this difficult time. 

Detroit Bartenders Get Creative With Side Gigs During Coronavirus Slowdown

For these Detroit-area bartenders, the novel coronavirus has forced them lean on second jobs as a source of income. Here's what they're doing to make ends meet.

Coronavirus Experts Encourage Distance. Is it Happening in Tampa Bay?

Despite recommendations from the CDC, Tampa Bay area residents are still out and about. What's next?

Coronavirus Survival Tips For Hotels

Occupancies are down, mass gatherings have been canceled and tourist arrivals have dropped. Author, Sheryl Kimes, dives into her previous research to get some tips on how to deal the novel coronavirus. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom Says All Bars and Wineries Should Close to Fight Spread Of Coronavirus

While it is not mandated, California's Governor Gavin Newsom is urging bars and wineries to temporarily close to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

March 13

Restaurants Are Encouraging Cashless Pay in Attempt to Limit Exchange of Germs

Health experts urge you to wash your hands after handling money, but is that enough? Some bars and restaurants aren't taking any risks, introducing no cash policies in exchange for credit/debit cards and payment apps like Venmo. 

Grubhub Announces It Will Delay Collecting Fees as Restaurants Deal With COVID-19

Grubhub has pledged, starting on Saturday, to delay the collection of certain fees it charges to “independent” restaurants. This applies to restaurants across the country.

March 12

Coronavirus Information and Resources From the National Restaurant Association

An extensive guide provided by the National Restaurant Association pertaining to the coronavirus (COVID-19). You'll find FAQ's, actionable information and additional resources here. 

U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Guidance on Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities During COVID-19 Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Labor announced new guidance outlining flexibilities that states have in administering their unemployment insurance (UI) programs to assist Americans affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cancellations, Sick Leave, and Takeout: How Food Businesses Nationwide Are Handling Coronavirus

For these restaurants, the game isn't over. They're just making new rules. 

How Miami Restaurants and Bars Are Preparing for Coronavirus

Miami restaurants, like many across the country, are kicking their safety procedures up a notch by offering patrons hand sanitizers, sealing to-go orders shut and cleaning top to bottom. Here you will find an ongoing list of restaurants that have implemented safety measures in response to the coronavirus.

March 11

Restaurants Rethink Paid Sick-Leave Policies as Coronavirus Outbreak Spreads

The coronavirus outbreak has drawn attention to the 55% of service industry workers without sick pay. Many companies are reevaluating their sick-leave policies, offering it to all hourly employees. 

Restaurant Stocks Plunge Amid Growing Fears of Coronavirus Sales Problem

Concerns continue to grow over an economic slowdown. Data suggests customers are shifting rapidly to off-premise dining and avoiding going inside restaurants. Delivery sees a surge. 

COVID-19: Tips for Communicating with Investors in a Turbulent Market

5 tips to consider when communicating with investors in turbulent markets.

March 4

A Guide for Waiters and Restaurants Navigating Coronavirus

For those in the service industry, following these tips can help to greatly reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus.

March 3

How Will the New Coronavirus Impact the Restaurant and Wine Industries?

Industry executives expect a gradual improvement with consumption returning to normal levels toward the end of fiscal 2020. But until then, the restaurant and wine industries continue to be challenged by the effects of the coronavirus. Here's how some are coping.



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