In the hospitality industry we are no strangers to adapting to new environments and facing adversity. However, this year has been especially challenging; waiting for new regulations weekly and investing to adhere to them is a constant struggle but what has been the biggest hurdle for me is trying to understand the logic and analytics behind the decisions the government is making.
If we go back to March, I was very aware there was a serious pandemic at hand, I knew when we opened back up that guest safety was our daily mantra, nothing was and is more important to me then the safety of every person that enters our venue. I took every measure imaginable to make sure we were not only compliant but exceeded the expectations set for us. As the guidelines tightened, it became less and less clear as to why, it felt like we as an industry were being singled out. Not only did it present a challenge operationally, but for me on a deeper personal level, I feared for the livelihood of my employees, of my fellow entrepreneurs who are dear friends in this industry and others that are directly affected.
We open the doors now at this stage, not to make money, but to make sure the people I feel personally responsible for, have an income and are not stressed out for themselves and their families. Investing to stay open has also opened my eyes to the joy and familiarity our venue brings to people in our community, we allow people to feel human again, to enjoy to the small pleasures in life, while keeping them safe. It is not surprising that mental health, especially amongst the younger generations, has become a vital issue in today’s society, we take pride in doing our part to give individuals a safe place to getaway and not feel the stress of everything going on in the world around them.
With the plethora of restrictions handed down to us, I feel as if we have become one of the safest places for people to come to, we provide a controlled environment , one that engages in daily practices to ensure compliance. It has become clear that regardless of politician’s recommendations, people will go out, and if it’s not at a restaurant, it will be at someone’s house, uncontrolled with no measures in place.
Why is it that thousands of people can enter malls and grocery stores without half of the restrictions we go through in hospitality? Taking away indoor dining from us, limiting our hours from an initial 11pm close to a 9pm close, simply doesn’t make sense, given that patrons are safer here rather than gathering in other unsafe environments.
View this post on Instagram
I am committed to keeping our community safe, however at the same time I would like politicians and health officials to consider how gravely their measures are crippling our industry and furthermore, would like to continue a dialogue with officials to help us understand these measures, that quite frankly, don’t make sense.
I don’t believe in taking the easy route in anything I do. It’s easy to say, “let’s shut everything down.” What’s harder is to come up with a productive solution that allows us to keep earning our livelihood while keeping our community safe and healthy; both physically and mentally.
Restauranteur, Regulars Bar + more