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Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association ‘devastated’ by new Ivey order

The Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association (ARHA) on Tuesday issued a statement after Governor Kay Ivey the same day announced that eateries in the state will not be able to reopen for onsite dining in the first phase of her plan to get the economy back up and running.

Ivey’s new “Safer At Home” order will take effect on Thursday, April 30, at 5:00 p.m. CT and run until May 15 at 5:00 p.m. It will replace the expiring “Stay At Home” order that is currently in effect.

ARHA stated that it “is devastated for our restaurants and their employees who are ready to go back to work.”

“It is disappointing that the plan to reopen Alabama’s economy does not include restaurant dining rooms,” the association continued. “ARHA developed the Alabama Restaurant Promise, a plan to safely permit on-premise dining, based on guidance from the National Restaurant Association, the CDC, the FDA, and ServSafe. This plan, along with further guidelines, was provided to Governor Ivey’s office in addition to submitting similar plans to Lt. Governor’s Task Force and the Alabama Department of Public Health.”

The association detailed that a study by the National Restaurant Association estimates that Alabama’s restaurant industry will lose $585 million in sales during April. As of April 24, ARHA estimated that there are now approximately 114,000 unemployed restaurant workers and more than 50,000 unemployed hospitality workers in the Yellowhammer State.

The association decried not only restaurants being barred from reopening for onsite dining on May 1 but the fact that the Ivey administration still has not even set a date for them reopening.

“Restaurants simply cannot sustain this continued loss of revenue,” ARHA outlined. “Bob Baumhower, CEO of Aloha Hospitality and Alabama football legend, owns and operates 11 restaurants in nine cities in Alabama. He says he is fearful that he will have to close one of his locations after hearing the Governor does not intend to open dining rooms anytime soon and she did not indicate a date at which she will do so.”

“Reopening a restaurant is a complex task that cannot happen on a day’s notice,” the statement added. “Communicating a clear timeline, objectives, and requirements relating to reopening Alabama’s restaurants is necessary to instill confidence in consumers and provide restaurant owners with the ability to plan and effectively make decisions.”

“ARHA looks forward to working with Governor Ivey and other officials to facilitate the necessary steps to reopen for the future of the restaurant and hospitality industry in our state,” the association concluded.

RELATED: Marsh looks to open all businesses ASAP — Plus, which Trump guidelines did Ivey follow?

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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