DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Thursday, the president of the Ohio Restaurant Association, John Barker, visited owners of Dayton restaurants, as well as the mayor.
The group had a discussion about the current status of the restaurant and service industry, and how government officials can help the thousands of employees of restaurants and eateries.
“We are struggling as a whole, all of us are. It doesn’t matter what type of restaurant you are…across the board we are all struggling and the more we can receive help; not only from clientele, but from the mayors and governor it helps,” shared Brody Danner, owner of Submarine House in Dayton.
The restaurant owners say they are struggling to pay for PPE, enhancements to dining rooms for safety like heaters and ventilation systems and extremely-high delivery fees for services like DoorDash and GrubHub.
“Not only are our revenues being restricted and cut, but our costs are through the roof,” said Danner.
“I’ve been doing this since I was in my teens, 40-something years, and nothing prepared us for this,” said Liz Valenti, co-owner of Wheat Penny.
Mayor Nan Whaley says she supports more federal funding for these businesses.
“Restaurants and service businesses have felt [the pandemic] way more than other parts of our economy. That’s why that federal stimulus round two is [very] important,” said Whaley.
“The jobs that have been lost are mostly in the service industry this has been a very uneven recession in this pandemic,” she continued.
The Ohio Restaurant Association released data that the restaurant industry employs more than 585,000 Ohioans. Shutting down restaurants would cause a majority of these people to lose their jobs and face even more financial hardship. According to the data, more than 80% of restaurants don’t believe they’ll break even in 2020.
Still, Mayor Whaley says when considering supporting these local restaurants, safety first is an important mindset to have.
“I want people to think about supporting local business while they’re doing this, go get carryout or curbside, that’s what we’re asking folks to do,” said Mayor Whaley. “You’ve seen us have different messages at different times through this pandemic. Nothing is forever here but we have got to flatten the curve. That’s why we’re encouraging people to do carry out or take out right now.”
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