Though Walt Disney World Resort in Florida — along with Disney Parks around the world — remains closed until further notice due to the current global situation, steps are being taken towards the safe reopening of state economies in light of new federal guidelines which were presented last week.
As the state of Florida looks toward reopening its own economy (which is, of course, heavily focused on tourism), Governor Ron DeSantis has appointed the Re-Open Florida Task Force to have input from the state’s various businesses.
While we’ve already explored some of the discussions regarding possible procedures for the reopening of the theme parks, now we’re turning our attention to another segment of the tourism and hospitality industry which received dedicated time during this week’s meetings: Florida restaurants, which are currently serving via takeout and delivery service only.
According to Jax4news, CEO and Co-Founder of The Restaurant People, Tim Petrillo, shared that concerns include a struggle of group suppliers to meet demand as restaurants reopen and place orders simultaneously. Additional issues surround staffing due to recent layoffs.
The topic of dining rooms raises several questions. And Petrillo said that procedures — surrounding issues such as capacity, the potential for masks and gloves for servers, and disposable menus — must be uniform statewide. (None of the measures have yet been determined.)
In a conference call of the Industry Working Group shared on thefloridachannel.org, Jose Cil, CEO of Restaurant Brands International (owner of Burger King, Popeyes, and Tim Hortons) shared some measures his company is currently taking, finding ways to “do things differently to make them better.” Restaurant employees are individually screened daily by answering health questions and having temperatures taken (which are then recorded in a log by managers). They’ve also instituted higher standards for hand-washing even beyond what already existed.
Cil shared: “The folks on the front lines need to feel comfortable that they’re working in a restaurant that’s conscious and conscientious about these issues and our guests need to know that as well,” addressing that people “need the certainty that restaurants are a safe place to go” referring to both workers and guests.
At the beginning of the call, Governor DeSantis expressed that he believes the committee will come up with “great ideas about a way forward.”
To find out more about the ways the Disney Parks in particular are currently impacted, you can visit any of the links below.