Update June 3rd: Officially, since Ohio became the first state to shut down on-premise dining on March 15th, New York has announced restaurants in seven counties can reopen starting tomorrow, June 4th for outdoor dining. New Jersey announced on Monday that outdoor dining may return in certain areas on June 15, 2020 marking the longest state closure at 91 days*. Using number of days closed, and 2018 National Restaurant Association data of total restaurants and sales, Iowa and North Dakota and Wyoming suffered the least amount of total sales. Not terribly surprising, Texas, California, and New York make up the worst hit in terms of total sales potentially lost. Per restaurant, Iowa locations could have lost ~$95k over the closed period. D.C. restaurants were the hardest hit, possibly losing ~$363k per restaurant, not accounting for any off-premise or to-go sales. The average number of days that on-premise dining was shut down was 58 days.
*This applies to a state wide-mandate to open or close. Total closure dates are marked from the time the state-mandated measures took place for on-premise dining to cease to the first date any local area could reopen. For example, New York City will open much later than the rest of the state but June 4th, 2020 is used as the reopening date for the state.
Update May 20th: Nearly two months after the United States shut down, today marks the first day that every state has reopened in some form of partial capacity. Many states are moving from ‘stay-at-home’ orders to a ‘safer-at-home’ order while they ease restrictions for businesses, gathering limitations, and activities allowed. Hot spots like New York and D.C. continue to look at COVID-19 preventive measures that will go until June or beyond.
Looking at coronavirus cases counts for Georgia and Tennessee, which were among the first of the continental U.S. to reopen, their cases are decreasing according to this NYTimes dashboard. Travis McCready performed the first concert since the pandemic started in Arkansas last Monday with 229 in attendance. In other parts of the country, crowded bars and restaurants have led to legislative action and warnings from association groups, including the Ohio Restaurant Association issuing a reminder for businesses to comply with local laws.
While there are positive signs of leveling off in some states, CNBC reported that the World Health Organization "has been warning world leaders that there can be 'no going back to business as usual' following the Covid-19 outbreak". Yesterday, 112k new cases were confirmed to set a new record for a single day and roughly a third of that came from the U.S.. After Hong Kong and South Korea closed down bars and restaurants after an initial reopening, its imperative operators and guests work together to stop and slow the COVID-19 spread to help businesses remain open and capacity restrictions to continue to loosen.
According to the latest data by Datassential, the comfort level of guests feeling “Very Safe” eating out has increased 8% from when the first poll of consumers on March 25th compared to new data released on May 15. Those reporting feeling “nervous” saw a 7% decrease and responded answering they felt “at-risk” remained flat. Furthermore, the group who indicated they were “very concerned” about coronavirus are at their lowest levels since March 18th, dropping to 53%, down from a high of 67% the first week of April.
Only New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, D.C., Colorado, Minnesota, Pennslyvania, and Vermont have not announced an official date for restaurant on-premise to return with some guidance expected as early as today. States are starting to defer to local counties and cities to determine if their jurisdiction is ready to reopen and Governor Hogan of Maryland and Governor Newsom of California have done just that.
Update May 8th: Additional states Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, and South Dakota have announced reopening dates which puts the current count at 32 states that have opened doors or plan to in the near future.
Update: Since this article was published, we have included several other states including Louisiana, West Virginia, South Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, and New Hampshire that have announced definite timelines for on-premise dining of any sort. Many states are only allowing outdoor seating as a start, and Louisiana is restricting this to not allow any kind of tableside service. Even because we list a state, it may not mean the state is fully open and several major cities including Miami and New Orleans are operating under different guidelines due to their Governors or Mayors saying the metro areas are not ready to reopen.
Mississippi was due to announce an ease of restrictions last Friday but has become one of the first states to pull back after seeing a spike in COVID-19 deaths and positive tests. Their Governor is due to provide an update today after monitoring the weekend numbers.
Restaurants in several states have opened doors for the first time to on-premise dining or plan to do so in the next coming days. The ‘rolling reopening’ started with Alaska last Friday and next was Georgia and Tennessee opening doors this past Monday. The other states opening up include Montana, Iowa, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas. When Texas reopens this Friday, the number of potential open establishments in the country could double as the state has more restaurants than all the other states combined according to National Restaurant Association 2018 data.
Governor DeSantis of Florida has announced his state will reopen restaurants in most counties at a 25% threshold for indoor seating and six feet distance required for outdoor seating. Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, and Broward restrictions will remain in place.
We’re tracking state-by-state openings along with links to all of the states' guidance related to openings. In addition, we're including links to reopening guidelines from hospitality associations and individual corporations.
Opening Guidelines- State
Florida Reopening Guide (related info starts near the end around slide 40)
Missouri Reopening Guide (begins on page 3, PDF is not searchable)
Opening Guides- Associations and Private Companies
Staff can check out Another Round Another Rally for more specific state resources here.