An Open Answer To A Congratulatory Letter Sent Regarding The Opening Of Restaurants

Posted: Jun 25, 2020

Recently, I received a congratulatory note regarding the fact that the restaurant industry across the US is opening. What a great feeling I had knowing that our industry is beginning to recuperate from some of the losses since the beginning of the lockdowns this past March. Some restaurateurs have even reported anecdotally that versus last year, their first week opening under the patio was a record-breaker. Here was my full reply to my colleague and friend.

Dear John,

Thanks for the congratulations on our industry beginning to open up.

The opening can best be described as interesting, exciting, and quite frankly concerning. The challenge we are all facing is that even with cohesive protective measures and with aggressive delivery and direct to consumer sales, digital leveraging, etc., most operations will achieve, optimistically, 50 to maybe 70% potential year over year results. Some forecasts are revealing continued mass closings of operations here in the US and worldwide.

Profit which was normally 9% on a good year will be slim if any. The outdoor cafe looks good but the financials do not.

The environment for staff and consumers carries variable risks due to a lack of uniform guidance and adherence to quality protection and care. Some staff wear bandanas; some wear masks, and some wear the face coverings below their nose. How often are the gloves changed or hands and pens sanitized? Today someone tried to have me sign a check through my driver's window!

Some restaurants have placed tables inches from each other, while some don't. Some consumers think it is ok to approach mask-wearing hostesses and servers while the consumers themselves are not wearing a mask. It is not safe to be in close quarters with someone who is not wearing a mask. The non-mask wearer may never present symptoms of Covid-19 but they could be responsible, unknowingly, for passing the illness on to many people.

This week, for example, Houston has begun a rollback of their openings due to the "apocalyptic" potential of the Covid-19 case numbers they could reach. New York, North Carolina, Washington State, and California have mandated the use of masks in public places. 

Some of the suggested solutions for the next 12 to 18 months and beyond are: the mandatory use of masks in non-social distancing possible environments, eating outside, table barriers in restaurant interiors, temperature checks for consumers and staff, menus and payments exclusive to cellular devices, and a robust takeout program with a guest arrival, notification, and tracking platform. All of these should be a must.  A comprehensive list of the considerations for restaurants and bars is available here: CDC: Considerations for Restaurants and Bars May 27, 2020

If you are still wondering why all should be wearing masks in public settings read the PNAS study released June 11, 2020. To summarize the scientific paper, countries that are following strict mask-wearing guidelines are showing commensurate declines in Covid-19 morbidity. 

In addition, proactive companies pivoted to the new digital sales and marketing environment early on. is fully on board with this pivot and we are working hard with our clients to create new digital channels that are both unique and realistic for their consumers.

4 years ago, foot traffic and traditional marketing led the curve. At the time, we were ahead of the digital curve with our digital plans and services. Today, too many hospitality operations are still behind the curve.

We want to help as many as possible manufacturers and business operators bridge the revenue gap created by our new reality.

We would be honored to help you get on or lead the curve. Please contact us at Contact The Administrator at

The virus does not respect economies and it certainly could care less about philosophies. Let's build businesses in the new reality which will provide a fruitful and safe environment for our precious human resources found in our personnel and consumers.

By Luis Torres Global President
Humanity in Everything LLC
June 25, 2020

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