The three-week ban of all in-person dining in Los Angeles went into effect on November 25th, and has left many restaurant owners struggling to confront yet another public health setback. Patrick Hickey, the general manager of Rao’s Hollywood, discusses more about his struggle live on the air with Fox News on November 26th, 2020. “It’s challenging to say the least,” says Hickey, who confides that the restaurant industry faces many challenges in general, even without pandemic restrictions.“One thing that we have going for us here in Los Angeles is the blessing of the weather. We can quite literally serve people 365 days a year al fresco,” says Hickey. “And for that to be taken away from us, in spite of all of the challenges we’ve faced with Covid, is just at this point demoralizing. It takes whatever little wind we had left in our sails completely away.” Hickey explains how the restaurant community has made an incredible effort in the last several months in order to accommodate CDC guidelines while maintaining the comfort of their diners. Los Angeles restaurants have made investments in areas such as additional outdoor seating, space heaters, and outdoor tents; but now it feels as though these expenditures were for nothing. Hickey feels remorse for his employees and professes that 60% of his staff have still been laid off since March. Furthermore, the small percentage of employees that were able to come back to work with the outdoor dining procedures put in place, are now potentially facing another looming lay-off. The current ban on in-person dining is scheduled to be lifted on December 17th; however, Hickey is not optimistic about this protocol. “The reality is that this will not be three weeks,” says Hickey. “This will continue to drag on should nothing change.” In the interim, you can support Rao’s Hollywood by ordering curbside pick-up, or no-contact delivery.
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