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*** UPDATED x1 *** Two different approaches to the hospitality industry crisis

Wednesday, Dec 9, 2020

* CBS 2

The National Restaurant Association warns 10,000 American restaurants could close in three weeks unless Congress passes a relief package. That’s on top of 110,000 restaurants that have already closed this year.

* Meanwhile, from the free Daily Line email…

The Chicago Restaurants Association and Fulton Market Association plan to co-host a press conference at 1 p.m. Wednesday at City Wintery at 1200 W. Randolph St. to call on Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Gov. JB Pritzker to restore indoor dining in Chicago to 20 percent occupancy by Jan. 15. They are also calling on Ald. Tom Tunney (44) to be fined the maximum penalty of $10,500 for serving indoor diners at his restaurant. “Chicago restaurant violators must be punished to the full extent of the law, in order to avoid unfair government scapegoating of restaurants as “virus super-spreaders,” according to a press release released by the groups Tuesday.


*** UPDATE *** Good point…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 8:22 am:

    Since it’s the bad actors in the restaurant and bar industry that are aiding in the potential downfall of those owners that ARE following mitigations, why now use some of the fines of the bad actors to reward the good actors? If nothing else, start a ratings system tied to mitigations that has teeth, and require posting of those ratings just as health departments would of the sanitation scores. We’re going to be in this for months yet as vaccines roll out. If I knew a local restaurant was following mitigations and could look online or in the window (poster of the rating and date received), I might be more inclined to get take-out (at least) from them rather than the fast food drive thrus. Maybe this is already happening in some areas. I’ve been hunkering down a lot lately, but boy do I miss some of my favorite restaurants. Haven’t been inside one since March, and only that one in all this time since. However, the trust factor needs to be reinforced by a third party that has teeth to enforce health and safety. Seems that IDPH could easily (Devore aside) start an implementation of something like a rating system to help get us through this winter and into the spring and summer.

  2. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 8:29 am:

    They are not wrong about Tunney.

  3. - Telly - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 8:39 am:

    Given how poorly contact tracing is going, it might be more effective to turn the tracers into inspectors and have them monitor restaurants for compliance. A robust monitoring program might allow us to safely reopen restaurants at reduced capacity.

  4. - Perry - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 8:49 am:

    “punished” what a sad time to be alive.

  5. - Keyrock - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:08 am:

    This is, at bottom, on Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell for not passing legislation to support restaurants, other small businesses, and workers through the pandemic. That failure is the root cause of the political pressure placed on state and local leaders not to take the public health steps that are necessary to safeguard the public.

  6. - Rutro - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 9:52 am:

    Tunney flouting the rules should be given the maximum penalty. His mistake undermines the entire process, if he thinks its fake or government restrictions are wrong, ok (stupid imho, but ok), he should resign as alderman.

    You can’t be part of the govt making the rules and then ignoring them. Also, random question, how does his/or anyone else’s business insurance keep coverage when they do stuff like this?

  7. - Give Us Barabbas - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:00 am:

    Tunney has to take his medicine now. If he doesn’t it just emboldens more revolt among the other restaurant and bar owners. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. I’ve been saying this all along; that fines and license revocations should have started, in earnest, long ago, and if they had, far fewer scofflaw operations would have resulted. I want to see local Public Health food inspectors showing up with a state trooper to serve the closure notices and make it public.

    I like the carrot of publishing or promoting compliant eateries and bars alongside the punitive actions. When scofflaws operate, they are hurting the law-abiding businesses with unfair competition, and making it harder for everyone’s business to recover in a shorter time. That must be addressed. The Restaurant Association has to take a positive stand for health here, or it will forever be written off as just another self-interested lobbying group without any moral legitimacy. You can’t really go back and fix that, so make the right choice now.

  8. - Louis G Atsaves - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:21 am:

    The ones who follow the rules should be rewarded as best as science allows. The rule breakers including a certain Alderman Restaurant owner? That wasn’t a mistake. Meh.

    Too many restaurants have spent a lot of money upgrading their heating and air-conditioning systems, outdoor tents and seating, and rearranging indoor seating with shields and other protective devices, only to be shut down or pulled back for their efforts. This has lead to shaming squads of shriekers who shriek they are open on public media sites when they are actually legitimately and safely open and other problems.

    Enough already.

  9. - blue line - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 10:28 am:

    Tunney is not a moral actor. His actions have demonstrated that clearly, and the fact that he hasn’t apologized is reprehensible. Now he is in charge of the city zoning committee, a place where immoral people have made self serving decisions for years. I hops the IG or the feds are taking a look at his actions, and make sure that politics and campaign contributions are not involved in his actions as chairman of the zoning board.

  10. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 11:00 am:

    Tunney’s business should be heavily punished to the max allowed under the law. He wasn’t even speaking out against the regulation, just ignoring it.

    I like the idea of the rating. Bad actors provide unfair competition against good actors. I have a handful of local restaurants I get takeout/delivery from. In unknown areas or Iowa, I resign myself to chains. They have been most responsible, even closing their dining rooms in Iowa where there are no rules to speak of.

  11. - Morris Day and the Time - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    The nexus between long time friends Toia and Tunney, the fact that both are restauranteurs, that Toia runs the Restaurant association and that Tunney chairs the zoning committee, and Toia is on zooming board of appeals. Lots of coziness there that could be worth looking into.

  12. - ChicagoBars - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 11:45 am:

    To the NRA approach, I got a groaning inbox of emails going back to mid-summer from IRA (and a few other State Association’s) urging every person on their mailing list to support the NRA’s RESTAURANTS ACT in Congress too.

    And it doesn’t appear to have even made the cut for current stimulus bill negotiations. Don’t work for the IRA, barely talk to the IRA, but can definitely see today’s press conference as clear acknowledgement Congress is unlikely to be specifically helping the hospitality industry in the next 2 months.

    And barring a major fix, the PPP 2.0 isn’t particularly great for Chicagoland hospitality (or other regions with relatively high rents and high labor costs). It helps but the 60/40 payroll to other expenses (rent, rent, rent) requirement to qualify for forgiveness doesn’t leave enough to stave off landlord’s who need their rent.

    And that’s a big problem because there is definitely no moratorium on commercial evictions in Illinois….

  13. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Dec 9, 20 @ 4:06 pm:

    ==when they are actually legitimately and safely open ==

    And, if they are doing indoor dining they aren’t legitimately open. You trying to get on Devore’s legal team?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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