National Restaurant Association notes that across the country outdoor dining is making up roughly half of all restaurant sales.
Causing restauranteers to - once again - "Pivot" as fall weather turns to 'winter-wet' around most of the Olympic Peninsula.
With almost one million foodservice locations nationwide and an employee base of 15.6 million, the restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer. With an unmatched record of advancement for people of color, for women, and for minority groups against any other industry.
The industry remains a critical part of the food supply chain. But it is an industry that provides the average owner with only 16 days of cash on hand as they've fought through months-long closures and capacity restrictions in order to stay open and serve communities.
Restaurant industry losses are on track to top $240 billion by the end of 2020 — more than any other industry.
Locally, the recent lifting of some restrictions for restaurants, hotels and any liquor-serving establishment has helped. The cutoff for alcohol sales has been raised from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. In an additional boon for restaurants, the requirement that only members of the same household can dine together indoors has now been eliminated — and table capacity has been increased to six in Phase 2 counties and eight in Phase 3. Hotel pools may also reopen in Phase 2. (This was a 'big splash' with the HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS AND CONFERENCE CENTER in Sequim!)
What Now? Suggested Mid-Pandemic Next steps.
Still, as the weather cools, and outdoor dining moves indoors, many of our favorite cozy and intimate dining establishments will be unable to make a business case to continue operating within the current service limitations. Many will rely on take-out. Others may have to close, hoping that their long-winters 'operational pause' won't be permanent.
How You can help
- The Olympic Culinary Loop is proud to be signators of recent Letters to the Editor for both the Peninsula Daily News and the Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader, quoting longtime restaurateurs from both Clallam (Neil Conklin, Bella Italia) and Jefferson (Kristan McCary, Ajax Café) Counties.
- These good words and call to action support our September Eat Local First and October's local Seafood Month special emphasis campaigns.
- Show Washington Love is an ongoing state-wide effort to "Buy Now, Play Later" featuring numerous local restaurants you can support by purchasing a gift certificate now in advance of once again visiting when it is appropriate.
- Please, wear a mask, practice physical distancing, and wash your hands. Ask your friends to do the same. Enjoy!
Get involved. Let our restaurant industry 'taste' your generous support!