O’Scanlon & DiMaso: Prominent Restaurants on Precipice

Senator O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman DiMaso said restaurants are hurting and if Murphy doesn’t immediately increase the indoor dining capacity to a minimum of 66 percent, the results could be devastating to the entire industry. (Pixabay)

Senator Declan O’Scanlon and Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (both R-Monmouth) emphasized their previous call for an immediate increase for indoor dining capacity to 66 percent following yet another desperate message from a prominent restaurant owner who indicated they might close very soon without a substantial indoor dining increase.

“It was absolutely stunning to me when I got this message from this restaurateur. This is a prominent restaurateur, his family and restaurant are beloved throughout Monmouth County. This is the last restaurant I’d expect to hear this from. If this individual is this close to the precipice we are in danger of losing them all,” said O’Scanlon. “This is a direct text and if this individual does pull the trigger it will be a shock to Monmouth County and to the State industry.”

“The evidence is clear from all of our surrounding states – Indoor dining at 50 percent to 100 percent capacity can be done safely. We are way behind our Northeast neighbors virtually all of which have been open far longer than we have and at capacities ranging up to 100 percent. None of them are reporting spikes due to indoor dining.” O’Scanlon continued. “The science isn’t different in New Jersey.

“There is virtually zero health benefit to this foot-dragging, but the financial toll is serious, and soon to be horrific for hundreds more establishments. When they go, so do the jobs so many depend upon, and so does the economic activity that’s the lifeblood of our economy,” said O’Scanlon. “This irrational hesitance must stop. We need to open up immediately to 66 percent indoor capacity, or higher. We need to give options, such as dividers between tables – to those who can’t separate tables far apart enough. It’s way past time!”

“We hear every single day from beleaguered restaurant owners who don’t know how to continue like this,” said DiMaso. “The Governor claims we need to see a sustained lack of outbreak, but we’ve already seen that. And even yesterday in his conversation with Dr. Fauci, the Governor was told that we are in a good position to continue the reopening of our economy. These businesses cannot take much more and, frankly, I don’t know what the administration is waiting for anymore. We cannot give them scraps and then continue this months-long wait for an indication that there is an end in sight for them, particularly with all the information we have from our surrounding states.”

“Looking at evidence from other states, where they have seen some spikes in transmission, the cause is very rarely traced to restaurants,” O’Scanlon stated. “Contact tracers are finding connections to college students, parties, and less frequently, within K-12 settings. We expected this, we knew there would be some transmission when we went back to school. But our school districts are prepared and adequately responding to new cases.”

“Our own robust contact tracing program that the Governor regularly lauds has shown that many of our new cases are not traced to indoor dining but to a few youth sports or mishandled gatherings from the holiday weekend,” DiMaso continued. “We cannot continue to decimate an industry when we have scientific evidence that indoor dining is not responsible for new case spikes.”

“This communication from a prominent restaurateur is a very clear, very concerning indication that we are standing over the ledge of potential collapse of a massive industry in New Jersey. The administration has already made potentially irreparable mistakes in its handling of indoor dining. What happens next appears likely to define the future of our restaurant industry. If we fail to move quickly, we’ll see a massive influx of even more individuals who will join our over 1.5 million people on unemployment. The business owners will lose everything,” said O’Scanlon. “The Governor simply cannot wait any longer to increase to 66%. To do so will lead to a shocking and tragic outcome.”



Posted: September 25th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: COVID-19, New Jersey, Press Release | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

4 Comments on “O’Scanlon & DiMaso: Prominent Restaurants on Precipice”

  1. Additional Pandemic Damage said at 8:19 am on September 26th, 2020:


  2. I think said at 10:14 am on September 26th, 2020:

    this is in the wrong thread.

  3. Billbogus said at 10:52 am on September 27th, 2020:

    I wonder if all of this guy’s employees are legal? Do you think they’re paid a decent living wage with the proper deductions?
    I used to work as a busboy in a local restaurant and was SHOCKED to learn their is a seperate minimum wage for restaurant employees! And as far as tip, after a few months, I discovered I was taking home the same amount every night no matter how busy we were! And when the cost of doing business goes up, these guys are able to pass on the cost and raise their prices! Can most of the rest of us do that every time our expenses go up? Maybe these guys should have saved a little money when time were good.

  4. @ Billbogus said at 8:36 am on September 28th, 2020:

    Your name fits you well.

    You may have worked at a restaurant, but I bet you don’t know a single thing about running a restaurant or it’s profit margins.

    And yeah, the cost of doing business is always figured into a product price. And what “price” does “the rest of us” offer other people when costs go up. There is no such thing

    Now, instead of trying to be a social justice warrior, let’s try to stay on point about restaurants needing more capacity to stay alive.

    Oh, snap. The point of saving money? It’s what now, 8 months since the lock down began.

    Money doesn’t last forever.