Don't Leave Michigan's Hospitality Industry
Out in the Cold
The “Don’t Leave Michigan’s Hospitality Industry Out in the Cold” campaign exists to advocate for the importance of changes to restrictions on restaurant and banquet space capacities as the colder months approach. It includes a list of common-sense public policy solutions to help Michigan’s restaurants and hotels survive the transition to a colder, less predictable fall season.
While expanded outdoor patio seating, great weather and federal stimulus funding helped to sustain the industry throughout the summer, more than half of the hotels in Michigan remain unprofitable and nearly a quarter of the state’s restaurants do not anticipate being in business in six months.
Don't Leave Michigan's Hospitality Industry Out in the Cold Proposals
- Allow Michigan’s meetings and banquets centers statewide the same access to market as restaurants at 50 percent capacity indoors with appropriate social distancing and sanitization standards.
- Allow restaurants to retain the expanded capacity they gained via patios and other outdoor solutions this summer by allowing them to safely winterize those spaces while extending their temporary alcohol service permits as well.
- Allow for expanded indoor capacity, both at restaurants and banquet centers if the data reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services falls below a three-percent positive test rate over an extended period.
- Restore Pure Michigan funding to encourage the restoration of safe travel.
- Promote and subsidize the requisite education and training necessary to earn credentials associated with the MRLA ServSafe Dining Commitment.
The MRLA also released new economic impact data outlining the devastation that will be caused to Michigan’s hospitality industry, the state’s second largest employer, if no action is taken:
- 23 percent of Michigan operators (approximately 4,000 locations) say it is unlikely their restaurant will still be in business six months from now.
- Nearly 2/3 of hotels remain below 50% occupancy, which is the commonly understood profitability threshold.
- 62 percent of restaurant operators report increased operational costs since the onset of COVID-19, mostly due to new Personal Protection Equipment and sanitization standards.
- Hotel unemployment remains at 38%, meaning that 4 in 10 hotel employees that worked in the industry in February do not now.
- Despite leading the statewide employment gains this summer, restaurants in Michigan are operating with 1/3 fewer employees than they otherwise at this time of the year.
- Michigan hotel occupancy rates are down 23.5 percent compared to last year
- 74 percent of Michigan operators say they don’t expect their restaurant’s sales to return to pre-coronavirus levels within the next six months.
- Detroit and Grand Rapids have experienced more dramatic drops in hotel profitability than the state as a whole as the near total lack of business travel and convention business have decimated those larger properties.
Toolkit: Share Your Story + Support Michigan's Hospitality Industry
We have all been impacted by the restrictions placed on Michigan's hospitality industry whether it is as a business owner or operator, or a client hosting a wedding or other milestone event. Please show your support for Michigan's hospitality industry by sharing your story on social media! Below are graphics that you can use to share support. Save the images below to share them on your business, or personal, social media.