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Michigan bar and restaurant groups react to dine-in services resuming

Posted at 9:00 AM, Feb 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-01 09:02:32-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It's a big day and a day people have been waiting nearly three months for: restaurants and bars are allowed to reopen for dine-in services.

We spoke to the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association about how the organizations are feeling about the 10 p.m. curfew and restrictions.

READ HERE: FULL ORDER BY MICHIGAN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ORDER ON RESUMING IN-PERSON SERVICES

When asked if businesses will be able to benefit with a 25% capacity limit and 10 p.m. curfew Scott Ellis, Executive Director of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association says he thinks it depends on their business model.

"This is not ideal, 25% does not pay the bills, even the ones that are opening at this 25% limit, it will not cover their bills, this will just get people back, get people back working."

"It's a good day, we're happy, we're excited to be open," Ellis said, but at the same time Ellis says we have to push and move forward to be able to increase the curfew and capacity at least.

Justin Winslow, Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association President & CEO, says a recent poll by their organization found only three out of five Michigan restaurants are planning to reopen today.

"That's not perfect, but it's a big step in the right direction," Winslow said. "Listen, they've been closed for 75 days, a lot of them are eager to get back to doing what they do best," he said.

The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association offered $40M in grant money to restaurant industry workers who were financially impacted by the pandemic.

We're told the organization received more than 90,000 applications.