DeSantis says he will lift restaurant limits, ban local governments from future restrictions
Ron DeSantis on Thursday said he doesn’t think the closure of restaurants has proven to be effective in reducing the spread of the coronavirus, so he said he’s going to lift capacity limits and ban local governments from putting any restrictions back in place. So that’s going to happen,” DeSantis said. DeSantis met with a panel of medical experts, making his opinion clear when it comes to restaurants in Florida, but didn’t specify when those capacity limits will be lifted. DeSantis said the decision to lift capacity limits was evidence-based. Now, there can be reasonable regulations on a local level, but to say ‘no’ at this point on a local perspective, I don’t think that’s viable,” DeSantis said.
100,000 restaurants close because of coronavirus pandemic
A new survey shows the coronavirus has left the restaurant industry in limbo. The National Restaurant Association released the results of its survey Tuesday. The group says nearly 100,000 restaurants have closed either permanently or for the long-term because of the pandemic. They found that most restaurants are still struggling, and they don’t expect their situations to improve. According to the National Restaurant Association, the industry is on track to lose $240 billion by the end of the year.
Wahlburgers in Waterford Lakes permanently closes
ORLANDO, Fla. – Wahlburgers in Waterford Lakes announced Wednesday that its closing its doors for good just weeks after the downtown Orlando location did the same. With the latest closure, the burger chain owned by actors Mark Wahlberg, Donnie Wahlberg and their brother, chef Paul Wahlberg, no longer has a presence in Central Florida. In fact, now the only Florida location in Key West that’s listed as “coming soon,” according to the casual restaurant’s website. We look forward to seeing you all again at one of our other restaurants in the future,” the post read. Wahlburgers first came to Central Florida in 2016, its entrance marked by a grand opening party that Mark Wahlberg attended.
Almost all Darden dining rooms open again amid coronavirus
Orlando-based Darden restaurant group has an optimistic outlook for the rest of the year despite the closure of its restaurants due to the coronavirus pandemic. Darden Restaurants closed all dining rooms at the end of March when the coronavirus was taking off in the U.S. As of June 22, 91% of Darden’s dining rooms were open with at least a limited capacity, according to the company. Throughout next year, Darden expects to open 35-40 net new restaurants. When our dining rooms closed, our operators did an amazing job of reimagining the guest experience by staying true to our back-to-basics operating philosophy,” Lee said in a statement.
Norwoods Restaurant and Treehouse closes after employee tests positive for COVID-19
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – Norwoods Restaurant and Treehouse, a staple in the New Smyrna Beach community, announced Thursday that the restaurant would close for a few days out of an abundance of caution after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The restaurant’s team took to Facebook to announce the closure saying in part management had “been notified by a team member that they have tested positive for COVID-19. This staff member has been self quarantining for 7 days and received their results this morning. We applaud our staff who have taken these precautions and for their diligence during these trying times as we try to navigate the situation,” the team said on Facebook. “We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support during these trying times.”
What will restaurants look like once the coronavirus pandemic subsides? Experts have an idea
We’re all dreaming of what we’re going to do when the coronavirus pandemic is over. [RELATED: Florida theme parks post-coronavirus: Screenings, masks, staggered seating all possible]However, experts say that once the coronavirus pandemic is behind us, it seems unlikely that restaurants will be able to return to the way they were pre-COVID-19. What’s it going to look like -- 50% required in a restaurant, social distancing -- how is that enforced -- capacity, what does outdoor dining look like?” Petrillo said. During Tuesday’s meeting, restaurant executives mentioned touchless drive-thrus, acrylic screens and half-empty restaurants to ensure social distancing. According to experts, restaurants will likely continue some of the social distancing measures when they open their doors.
Yelp adds donation buttons to help local restaurants during coronavirus pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has threatened many independent restaurants and businesses. The Yelp Foundation and GoFundMe have teamed up so that independent businesses can fundraise and get donations. Yelp donate buttonYelp and GoFundMe will match up to $1 million in donations. This comes just a few days after Yelp announced $25 million in relief for independent local restaurant and nightlife businesses. To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.