Walz’s restrictions ‘heartbreaking’ for bars and restaurants
Governor Walz is restricting bars and restaurants to take-out and delivery service only between November 20th-December 18th.
MINNESOTA — Bars and restaurants have gradually learned to adapt to the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic and to state guidelines.
They have made many changes and sacrifices to keep their doors open that have included limiting capacity, requiring face masks for employees and rearranging spaces so that tables are at least 6 feet apart.
That is why some feel Minnesota’s newest restrictions are too extreme.
“The closing announcement for indoor service for the next month is heartbreaking and the impact is going to be devastating,” said Leslie Rosedahl, the communications director for the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association.
The MLBA is frustrated by these blanket regulations and the short notice that businesses were given since the restrictions take effect in just two days.
“Bars and restaurants not only schedule staff, but they also have perishable food items. Even beer is perishable,” Rosedahl said. “Having all this product is expensive and, most likely, is not going to be able to sell.”
The waste of perishable stock is just a short term effect of these restrictions. The long term strain is even more damning.
“Already margins over the past month have been extremely tight. The most optimistic view we have gotten is that restaurants are operating at 20% of what they did before. This will push it down to 5-10%. That is not sustainable,” Rosedahl explained.
Along with increasing unemployment, the MLBA is expecting this to lead to a high rate of closures.
“It is estimated in the industry that 40% of bars and restaurants will close due to the COVID pandemic regulations,” Rosedahl said.
The MLBA is asking that the same state leaders that made these restrictions take steps to help these businesses. They are calling for relaxed regulations, direct financial support, unemployment assistance and loans.