Slate: Hot Spots

Slate: Hot Spots. “Outdoor drinking and dining is currently the safest way for establishments to host guests during the pandemic. Accordingly, demand for heat lamps has risen sharply, even in the warm summer months. While July is typically the slowest month for the heat-lamp industry—yes, there’s an industry—this year it rivaled even the traditionally busiest months of the year, according to Alfresco Heating owner Eric Kahn, whose company is based in Novato, California. Some restaurants are purchasing heaters for the first time, suggesting that the new landscape of dining on sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and wherever else you can fit a table and a few feet of distance will be with us for a good while.”

Bloomberg Law: Bankrupt Chuck E. Cheese Parent Wants to Shred 7 Billion Tickets

Bloomberg Law: Bankrupt Chuck E. Cheese Parent Wants to Shred 7 Billion Tickets. “Chuck E. Cheese’s parent company asked a bankruptcy court to approve settlements to destroy 7 billion paper Prize Tickets that have built up in the company’s supply chain as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. CEC Entertainment Inc.’s vendors now hold ‘enough tickets to fill approximately 65 forty-foot cargo shipping containers,’ according to CEC’s emergency motion filed Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.”

New York Times: Unable to Pay Rent, Small Businesses Hope for a Deal With Their Landlord

New York Times: Unable to Pay Rent, Small Businesses Hope for a Deal With Their Landlord. “In March, when the Boston restaurateur Garrett Harker and his partners shut down their seven restaurants after Massachusetts issued lockdown orders, Mr. Harker assumed the closures would be painful but temporary. Six months later, three of Mr. Harker’s restaurants, including the flagship Eastern Standard — once described as the ‘perfect restaurant’ by The Boston Globe’s food critic — remain shuttered. Mr. Harker and his landlord for those three restaurants are in a standoff: He can’t afford to pay the six-figure arrears he has accrued while his restaurants remain shut, and the landlord, he said, has refused to grant a deferral or discount.”

New York Daily News: Tax, tip, COVID fee: Council passes bill letting struggling NYC eateries charge 10% extra to get back on their feet

New York Daily News: Tax, tip, COVID fee: Council passes bill letting struggling NYC eateries charge 10% extra to get back on their feet. “New York restaurants will be allowed to tack up to 10% onto their bills under a law passed by the City Council on Wednesday. The bill’s sponsor, Councilman Joe Borelli of Staten Island, says the fee will help struggling restaurateurs get back on their feet. The bill passed on a 46-2 vote.”

Meg’s choice: She could reopen her diner. But what about the hungry people she’s feeding? (Washington Post)

Washington Post: Meg’s choice: She could reopen her diner. But what about the hungry people she’s feeding?. “In the heart of this pandemic summer, some restaurants have yet to reopen, still struggling to find a workable way forward with diminished capacity or takeout only. Others tried to restart, only to shut down again as cases surged. And many more are gone forever — more than 20,000 restaurants have closed nationwide since the start of the pandemic, according to the National Restaurant Association, with tens of thousands more expected to close. In Lawrence’s downtown, nearly a third of the restaurants have either delayed reopening, reopened and then scuttled indoor dining — or closed all together. [Meg] Heriford faced an agonizing choice — should she try to reopen Ladybird Diner as it was, and if so, what about the people she’s feeding — the newly destitute families who come shyly, pushing their masked kids to the front of the line?”

San Francisco Chronicle: ‘Extinction event for restaurants’ anticipated as federal loan money runs out

San Francisco Chronicle: ‘Extinction event for restaurants’ anticipated as federal loan money runs out. “Pim Techamuanvivit is trying to make the math work when it comes to using her PPP loan to keep her San Francisco restaurant Nari open, but it’s a struggle, and she feels time is running out. Techamuanvivit spent roughly 70% of her PPP fundingwithin a few weeks of receiving it this summer. It helped her make ends meet for a brief time, and ensured that dozens of her employees retained health insurance. But now more bills are on the horizon, no new revenue is coming in, and there is no clear timeline for when operations at Nari can return to normal.”

CNN: Andrew Cuomo reinstates indoor dining in New York City — but restrictions apply

CNN: Andrew Cuomo reinstates indoor dining in New York City — but restrictions apply. “New York City restaurants will be allowed to resume indoor dining, with strict restrictions. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that restaurants can restart indoor dining on September 30, but they will be limited to operating at 25% capacity.”

Gov. Wolf: Restaurants Can Increase Occupancy To 50%, But First Must Register With New Database (CBS Pittsburgh)

CBS Pittsburgh: Gov. Wolf: Restaurants Can Increase Occupancy To 50%, But First Must Register With New Database. “Gov. Tom Wolf says restaurants in Pennsylvania may begin increasing their indoor occupancy to 50% starting later this month, but first they must go through a self-certification process. The occupancy increase can start on Sept. 21.”

Washington Post: Facing unmasked diners and sick colleagues, restaurant workers worry about safety — and their livelihoods

Washington Post: Facing unmasked diners and sick colleagues, restaurant workers worry about safety — and their livelihoods. “Across the country, many hospitality workers are afraid to work right now in an industry that’s fighting for survival with limited resources, conflicting reopening guidance from government and a significant portion of the population that continues to think the coronavirus is no worse than the seasonal flu. The reopening of restaurants, as [Jennifer] Moreau’s example shows, has also further frayed the already-fraught relationship between worker and employer.”

CNN: 300 Pizza Huts are closing after a giant franchisee goes bankrupt

CNN: 300 Pizza Huts are closing after a giant franchisee goes bankrupt. “Up to 300 Pizza Hut restaurants are slated to permanently close following the bankruptcy of one the chain’s largest franchisees. NPC International, which filed for Chapter 11 in July, announced an agreement [August 17] with Pizza Hut’s owner Yum! Brands (YUM)to close roughly a quarter of its restaurants and sell the remaining locations.”

Eater: Sales at New York Restaurants Continue to Plummet Without Aid, According to Survey

Eater: Sales at New York Restaurants Continue to Plummet Without Aid, According to Survey. “In a survey of more than 625 restaurants across the state, the New York State Restaurant Association found that nearly 90 percent of restaurants say they won’t be able to make any profit in the next six months without government aid. The lack of aid will also exacerbate the number of restaurant closures in the state, according to the survey.”

WAVY: North Carolina Gov. Cooper announces statewide curfew on alcohol sales at restaurants

WAVY: North Carolina Gov. Cooper announces statewide curfew on alcohol sales at restaurants. “Restraurants will be unable to sell alcohol after 11 p.m. The governor said the curfew is an effort to keep restaurants from becoming bars after hours. ‘We’re hoping this new rule can drive down cases – particularly in young people,’ Cooper said.”

Eat out to help out: Coronavirus scheme offering UK diners 50% off begins (BBC)

BBC: Eat out to help out: Coronavirus scheme offering UK diners 50% off begins. “Diners across the UK will be able to enjoy half-price meals throughout August from Monday, as part of a government scheme aimed at boosting restaurants and pubs post-lockdown. ‘Eat out to help out’ applies to eat-in food and drink on Monday to Wednesdays at more than 72,000 venues.”

CNN: McDonald’s sales tumbled 30% last quarter, but it’s optimistic about a turnaround

CNN: McDonald’s sales tumbled 30% last quarter, but it’s optimistic about a turnaround. “McDonald’s is having a rough year, as shown in another dismal quarterly earnings report — but there are signs of recent improvement. Total sales sank 30% in the second quarter compared to a year ago, McDonald’s announced Tuesday, falling to $3.77 billion. Net income plummeted 68% to $483.8 million. The figures reflect the April to June period, the first full quarter of coronavirus effects in the United States.”