Dear MRA Members,
Today we will begin a daily update of information and sharing that will continue until the situation warrants ramping this down. There is a lot of rumor running around, we will deal with the facts as we know it. The Governor and Mayor’s (Boston) offices have been communicating with us in discussions and decisions BEFORE they have been announced. None of us, including the government, have been here before, the playbook is being written as we go forward day by day. This means the coming days will not be perfect. Our goals short term, are to protect our employees, keep businesses open, providing nourishment to our neighborhoods, those unable to travel to our business, and then begin on longer term goals that quickly ramp up recovery.
  • This morning the City of Boston has closed bars and restaurants in South Boston today. This was a city, not a state decision and likely due to the large crowds that assembled yesterday and would today for St. Patrick’s Day.
  • There are plenty of rumors that Gov. Baker will shut down restaurants, and even broader all non-essential business for two weeks. Factually, this has not happened though we believe there are discussions. 
  • There are rumors that President Trump will be shutdown the country. Again, the facts remain the same as above, and our partners at the National Restaurant Association have heard nothing from the White House.
  • Most restaurants have thinned the dining room seating as requested, and beefed up delivery and to go processes. If they did not engage third party delivery before, they are moving that way now. Servers have been shifted into restaurant delivery roles. 
  • We have approached the City of Boston where schools are now closed for 45 days and discussed that schools feed children 1-2 meals a day, restaurants can assist during this time.  
  • We suggest that restaurants where schools are closed that restaurants reach out to local officials to see if there is a role you can play.
  • Hospitals, nursing homes, senior living communities may have work available for servers and cooks as they will not shut. Coordinate your team to pick up shifts at your local facilities.  
  • Many employers are attempting to keep workers on staff, cutting shifts as opposed to a layoff.  
  • Factually, if you layoff, vacation needs to paid out, sick pay does not. If still on staff but reduced shifts, employees can make a claim for unemployment.
  • Supplies on chemicals continue to be in short supply or non-existent - we do not have estimates on they will be flow again.
  • Click here for the NRA reading of the federal bill regarding workers that passed yesterday in common language. It is what it is and best we leave it at that.
  • There is a rush to offer owners short term loans with very unfavorable terms. We recommend that everyone truly use such offers with great caution, and only after reviewed by experts who will provide all the hidden costs and clauses.
  • There are always people who look to profit from disasters by looking as if they are helping you, please, please approach all with caution.
  • Finally, as leaders in this industry, we have to stop, think logically and strategically, and make decisions based on fact that affect our businesses and employees, not decisions based on rumor or myth. 

Please see latest COVID-19 updates regarding the impact on the restaurant industry below and for all daily updates, visit our website homepage here .

Massachusetts Restaurant Association
160 East Main Street, Suite 2, Westborough, MA 01581
Phone: (508) 303-9905