Dear Restaurant Owners

Illinois Restaurants have been some of the most resilient businesses during the pandemic. Nationally the restaurant industry has lost more than 8 million workers due to the shut-down. Business operations have been forced to close dining rooms, convert to take out, delivery and curbside pick-up to maintain viability. Currently, outdoor seating allows customers to dine on premise. This is a welcome return to a sense of normal operations. Let's not forget the new normal now includes "Cocktails to Go" a recently implemented law that allows restaurants and bars to sell certain mixed drinks in to go containers. You can read more about Cocktail to Go details below. Each of the changes has required different adaptation of the business. Looking forward reopening the dining room is still to come. What will reopening look like in the post COVID-19 restaurant? We would like your feedback. We have developed a survey about workforce related issues of reopening your restaurant. Please take a minute to complete a brief survey to share you thoughts on staffing for the future. Staffing concerns

" Cocktails to Go Legislation" clarification provided on 6/9/2020

The bill adopted by Illinois Generally Assembly that allows restaurants and bars to sell "cocktails to go" via delivery or carry out has now been signed into law and became effective immediately. A copy of the legislation is available Here. There are a number of restrictions on the carry out and delivery of cocktails. Here are a few you should be aware of:
  • Required that tamper-evidence and sealed containers must be used
  • Cocktails Must be placed in the trunk or rear area of vehicle for transport
  • the container must be labeled as required by law, and
  • cocktails can only be delivered by an employee of the establishment, and not a third-party service
  • This law is temporary in nature, and expires one year from the effective date.
  • The Illinois Liquor Control Commission most recent guidance is available at FAQ. Expect further guidance on this issue soon.
  • Delivery person must verify the age of the recipient as well as the level of intoxication

Rethinking the Business Model Post COVID-19
The changing landscape requires changes is business practices. Here is a resource that may help. You can bring on:

Team of 5-6 Business students representing majors in accounting, marketing, management, finance and technology provide strategic consulting to local businesses for a semester-long project. At the end of the semester, the team presents "YOU" their client with a detailed report that includes:
·    Industry Research on the client's industry "Restaurant"
·    A market assessment of the external environment and a competitive analysis
·    An assessment of the business's internal operations compared to others in their industry
·    A Customer or Business to Business Survey (as appropriate), with a complete analysis of the data collected and conclusions that can be drawn
·    Strategies for success

All of this information is then included in a final report that provides detailed recommendations for the client on ways to improve and grow their business. Special emphasis on the impact of COVID-19 impact on your business.
While student teams often commit several hundred combined hours to complete strategic plans, this service is offered  pro bono  as a free service to the community. If you are interested in gaining the analysis specific to your business Consulting team

This notice (BCC19-16) is our fifteen , and many more will follow to inform you of resources available through the City, County, State, Federal Agencies, and other partners. So please share this with other businesses that would benefit. Our next notice (BCC19.17) will focus on Peoria Stabilization funding for local area businesses.

We encourage all to comply with the stay at home order and practice social distancing.


Kevin S Evans
Kevin S. Evans
Senior Economic Engagement Specialist