Industry Proposes New Safe Dining Plan; Restrictions Continue to Decimate Hospitality Industry
Contact: Karen Geisel, NJRHA
TRENTON, NJ – Representatives from New Jersey’s largest venue and restaurant owners, and the NJ
Restaurant & Hospitality Association (NJRHA) spoke out today about how the COVID-19 pandemic is
shattering the state’s largest private-sector employer. The group presented a new safe dining plan with
enhanced sanitation protocols, discussed the challenges of outdoor dining, fall predictions, and
highlighted their Industry’s economic and community impact which will be presented through a 30-day
#IServeJersey social media campaign.
“Sadly, current estimates suggest 30 percent of restaurants that make up the culture and personality of
our state will close,” said Marilou Halvorsen, president of NJRHA, “Hit even harder, are our state’s largest
wedding venues. Their complete closure has led to a ripple effect in the industry, where professionals like
photographers, videographers, florists, and musicians, to name a few, are all out of work,” she added.
Late June, the governor indefinitely reversed the opening of indoor dining a few days before it was to
happen. This surprising shift has resulted in heightened emotional and financial hardships for all,
especially now that the midway point of summer has passed – this industry’s most robust time for partial
Meanwhile, the industry quickly responded and tightened their safe dining plan to include more enhanced
sanitation efforts for less people with more social distancing, in hopes of cracking the door on reopening
indoor dining and activities soon, to no avail.
Recently an uptick in COVID-19 cases, the highest since early June has been attributed by the governor as
a result of indoor house parties and other unruly gatherings hosted by young people, where masks or
social distancing were not adhered.