In this week’s hospitality news headlines, Covid-19 is on the rise all across the country once again. Unlike the second wave which was more regional in nature and largely affected urban regions, the current wave is widespread and impacting tiny towns and major cities alike.
Indoor dining is beginning to take a hit as major cities like San Francisco, Chicago, and Philadelphia close indoor dining again. Michigan, Washington, and most of California, are also on a temporary shut down for bars and indoor dining. Hundreds of other cities are imposing curfews for restaurants and bars.
Fortunately, two companies announced vaccine candidates with expected efficacy greater than 90% last week. The vaccines will be available on a limited basis beginning next month. Though vaccine availability will go a long way toward curbing the need for shutdowns, it is not a quick fix. Moderna CEO told Business Insider that a vaccine will be widely available by June 2021. For struggling restaurants, June is too far away to be a consolation. The industry needs relief now. Though President Donald Trump tweeted Saturday, urging Congress to pass another stimulus bill, negotiations between Republicans and Democrats have not yet resumed.
Read on for more hospitality news highlights.
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- Lightspeed POS Buys US Company ShopKeep for $440m in Cash and Stock
[The Canadian Press]
Lightspeed POS Inc., a cloud-based commerce platform acquired ShopKeep, which boasts 20,000 US restaurant and retail clients. ShopKeep will bring payments acceptance, automatic inventory tracking, employee management, and sales reporting to the Lightspeed platform.
- Marriott Pleased With ‘Significant’ Progress During Q3 [Hotel Management]
Marriott’s reported operating income totaled $252M in the third quarter, compared to 2019’s Q3 reported operating income of $607M. Despite the significant loss, Marriott is pleased with the recovery in Q3 which represented a 35% improvement compared to Q2. 94% of their hotels are now open and receiving guests.
- Lettuce Entertain You Plans to Lay Off More Than 1,000 Workers [Restaurant Business Online]
LEYE plans to permanently lay off 1,045 workers from more than 40 locations in Chicago and surrounding suburbs due to Covid-19. The decision follows Chicago’s 30-day ban on indoor dining implemented last month. The layoffs will largely be of workers furloughed last March rather than active team members.
- Moderna and Pfizer Vaccine Candidates Raise Hope as US Adds 1 million New Cases [Washington Post]
Moderna announced its experimental coronavirus vaccine is nearly 95% effective. Pfizer had previously announced they expect their vaccine to be more than 90% effective, giving the US hope that two vaccines will be available on a limited basis by the end of 2020.
- Michigan Rolls Back Indoor Dining at Restaurants and Bars [Eater Detroit]
Beginning Wednesday, Nov 18th, indoor dining casinos, gyms, theaters, schools and universities will be closed once again due to rising Covid-19 infections. Outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery will be allowed.
- Seattle Restaurateurs Worry for Their Future as Inslee Shuts Down Indoor Dining in Washington State Again [The Seattle Times]
Beginning Wednesday the 18th, through December 14, indoor dining and bars will be closed in Washington. Outdoor service will be permitted with a five-person party limit.
- San Francisco Shuts Down All Indoor Dining After 250% Increase in Covid-19 Cases [Eater SF]
Just 6-weeks after reopening indoor dining rooms, all San Franscisco restaurants have shut down indoor dining again, reverting to an outdoor dining, takeout/delivery only model. Ten counties in California will be moving to a more restrictive tier (yellow to orange, orange to red).
- New York Announces New Curfew for Restaurants and Bars [Eater NY]
Restaurants and bars across the state of New York have been ordered to close indoor and outdoor dining nightly at 10 pm. Takeout and delivery are allowed after 10 pm but liquor sales are prohibited. Previously, the cutoff for outdoor dining was 11 pm, and indoor dining ended at 12 am. Similar restrictions are now in place in New Jersey and Connecticut.
- Chicago May Cap DoorDash and Grubhub Restaurant Fees at 15% [Eater Chicago]
In response to the indoor dining shutdown in Chicago, city council will attempt for the second time to cap third-party delivery fees. The proposal limits marketing fees at 5% and delivery at 10% which would put the city in alignment with similar caps in NYC and San Francisco.
- How the Pandemic Inspired a Kitchen-Share Scene Among Out-of-Work Chefs
[The New York Times]
The F&B industry is coming together for mutual benefit. Those with underutilized kitchens are sharing spaces with out of work chefs, bartenders, and caterers who need access to a commercial kitchen to try out new dishes, fulfill contracts, and continue innovating. Some endeavors have been so successful they’re evolving into regularly rotating guest-chef concepts.
- HVS Report-Covid-19’s Impact on Hotel Values [Hospitality Trends]
Rodney G. Clough, Ryan Mark, and Chris Cabrera of HVS re-appraised 140 hotels that had been previously valued before Covid-19. They found that though the range of change spans a 61% decline to a 33% increase, declines predominantly fell within the range of 15%-30%.
Click here for a look at last week’s hospitality news headline highlights.