With the pandemic ongoing, local business owners are trying to plan for the future. On August 3rd, the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association hosted a press conference addressing the industry’s concerns in the Garden State.
The NJRHA is an organization that provides information, resources, and support to owners of restaurants, wedding venues, and more. Speakers included Marilyn Schlossbach, Chairwoman of the NJRHA, and President & CEO Marilou Halvorsen. Treasurer Bob Wagner and entrepreneurs Tom Diadone and Jeanne Cretella also spoke.
Discussion centered around how the pandemic has impacted New Jersey’s food service and hospitality industries. Current estimates suggest that 30% of the Garden State’s restaurants could be in danger of closing without proper help.
“It’s not about the money, it’s not about the pandemic, it’s about people, and bringing people together,” said Schlossbach. “If we can’t communicate and do that…we won’t survive this.”
Among chief concerns were the path forward with the future of indoor dining uncertain in New Jersey, as well as how to keep dining safe for staff and customers. The panel also discussed the financial strain of the last 5 months and ripple effects throughout the state’s economy.
President Halvorsen announced the creation of #IServeJersey, a 30-day social media campaign highlighting local businesses. The series aims to give those in the industry a chance to speak about the impact of the shut-down.
While the NJRHA’s efforts to meet with Governor Phil Murphy have been halted, organizers hope to still join hands with state government on safety measures.
“We always welcome the governor to join us,” said Halvorsen. “…He is making those tough decisions, and we certainly want to be part of the process with him.”
For more about the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association, visit their website.
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