How restaurants are dealing with COVID-19 as they prepare to reopen to indoor dining

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Posted at 6:43 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 19:34:50-05

(WXYZ) — In tonight's 7 UpFront we're taking a closer look at the hard-hit restaurant industry.

Thousands have been laid off, with many restaurants forced to close their doors or good, while others are barely able to stay afloat.

Just Winslow from the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association is joining us to talk about it.

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

"I don't want to bury the headline, it's good news," Winslow says. "Restaurants will have been closed for 75 days since the original November 18th order, 160 days if you want to count the total number of days since this all started last spring, so it's welcome news to have the doors back open."

"I don't think it's a permanent or long term solution, we're hopeful to hear a little more detail on how restaurants will be able to take the next step because we know that 25% isn't going to get it done in the long term," he continued.

"We've been asking for some time for a more comprehensive plan," Winslow says. "Other states have been able to tie specific metrics that hold them accountable and hold restaurants accountable. So, if things are trending one way or the other, restaurants can be a little better prepared than they have been able to be so far."

"You're certainly not going to see a snap of fingers and overnight the industry is back to where it was. I think a small amount of people will come back to this industry and start working, but you won't see massive change until you really start seeing even more than, frankly, 50% capacity and that's what we need and that's why we're hopeful because the trend lines have been good," he says. "We hope they stay that way and that we can get there soon."