Here’s a look at last week’s hospitality news headlines.
The Covid-19 infection rate is rising in Europe and the US with 40 states seeing a significant increase in both infections and hospitalizations. Restaurants in several neighborhoods in New York City were shut down just days after getting the green light to reopen for limited indoor dining. Restaurateurs are concerned about the long-term outlook as many don’t have the ability to open beyond 50% capacity due to the 6-foot social distancing requirements.
In brighter news, holiday gift card sales are expected to surge this year. Blackhawk is projecting an increase of 29% specifically in the restaurant industry. Now is the best time to make sure you have plenty of gift cards on hand for the upcoming holiday shopping season. And food trucks continue to prosper during the pandemic despite mass event cancellations, thanks to their to-go business model.
Read on for more hospitality news.
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- Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to Implement Metal Detectors, Restrict Entry
[Las Vegas Review-Journal]
In a new policy, the Cosmopolitan will restrict entry to its hotel, restaurants, and casino on Friday and Saturday nights to those with reservations and rewards members. All guests will be checked with metal detection wands and police will be stationed at entry/exit doors.
- US Sees Highest Number of Daily Coronavirus Cases Since August [CNN]
Friday marked the third consecutive day of over 50,000 new cases in the US. Numbers haven’t been that high since mid-August. A model from the University of Washington School of Medicine predicts a mid-January peak of daily deaths, and a nearly 400K death toll by February.
- Covid Hot Spots in NYC Schools, Restaurants, Nonessential Businesses to Close Wednesday [NY Daily News]
Days after NYC reopened indoor dining at 25% capacity, the Mayor has ordered non-essential businesses and schools in several neighborhoods to shut down again. The nine neighborhoods under restrictions have seen a recent spike in Covid cases, crossing the 3% infection rate. Eleven additional zip codes are being monitored closely.
- Connecticut’s New Reopening Phase Getting Tepid Reception [Associated Press]
Restaurants in Connecticut are now able to open at 75% capacity. Many operators however are skeptical that they can increase capacity beyond their current 50% due to 6-foot social distancing requirements. Most bars and nightclubs remain closed.
- Gift Card Sales Forecasted to Increase 19% [Hospitality Technology]
Holiday gift cards are forecasted to increase 19% over 2019 thanks to the shifting shopping trends in the wake of Covid-19. The survey predicts a 29% increase in restaurant gift card purchases. eGifts sold on merchant websites are up 74% from 2019. And Visa found 33% of respondents plan to gift more digital cards than last year.
- Food Truck Industry Exploding Despite Challenges of Coronavirus [The Denver Channel]
The food truck industry has experienced a boom in the past few years. Recently, event cancellations due to Covid-19 have hurt the industry that thrives on parties like weddings and graduation celebrations. Overall, they’re still faring better than their sit-down restaurant counterparts.
- Flattening Economic Recovery Poses Challenges for Restaurants [Nation’s Restaurant News]
The restaurant industry’s recovery continues into autumn but is flattening according to Black Box Intelligence which estimates 100,000 restaurants remain closed. Alcohol sales lag the most. Mid-afternoon and dinner day parts are growing the most.
Click here for last week’s hospitality news headlines.