With bar and restaurant owners dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and more rules and regulations than ever before, Spectrum News spoke with expert Jon Taffer about how the industry should be navigating the situation in New York.
Taffer said with capacity limits and many customers tentative about going to establishments, the situation is only getting worse. He said the Paycheck Protection Program was a major help for the industry and the government should look at providing more similar assistance.
The expert also said he is not a fan of New York state's rule requiring bars and restaurants to serve food with alcohol when customers dine in. He said while it could potentially provide more revenue for restaurants, it punishes bars that mainly serve drinks.
Taffer said the state should be focusing more instead on things like air conditioning systems, spacing, the cleanliness of surfaces, and masks.
"I reject the whole premise and I think that the governor's taking a wrong path," Taffer said. "He's focused on food or not, and he's causing a whole segment of the industry to be pushed out of the marketplace and your customers cannibalized by the other side of the marketplace, and it's all based on the premise of food, which has no relevance to COVID-19 whatsoever."
He also recommended that struggling establishments consider closing their doors until the pandemic has passed, rather than continue to lose money trying to stay open right now.