Mask Mandates

Masks, Vaccines or Both? How Restaurants are Navigating the Delta Variant

Los Angeles County recently reinstated their indoor mask mandates and New York restaurants now requires proof of vaccination—who’s next?

With the Delta variant and a spike in COVID cases all over the U.S., many businesses are considering bringing masks back. But research shows not everyone seems to be onboard.

According to Mayo Clinic’s vaccine tracker, only 49.9%of the population in the U.S. has been fully vaccinated as of August 3rd, which means herd immunity has not yet been reached. Scientists, governors, and medical personnel are afraid the nation won’t get to the point we all hoped to be at by now.

A Case of Déjà Vu? Mask Mandates Return to Restaurants

As areas around the country reinstate mask mandates, it’s safe to say a Domino Effect is occurring. As of July 26th, cities such as Provincetown, MA, Kansas City, MO and Savannah, GA joined the growing list of areas to bring masks back.

Just one week later, by August 2nd, even more areas reinstated masks in the restaurant industry and other indoor public places. Various cities in California such as Berkeley, San Francisco, Sacramento, and all of Los Angeles County were among these. Washington D.C. also joins the rest with mask requirements for all restaurant guests.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC Health Officials are now strongly recommending masks in indoor places, regardless of vaccination status.

Challenges Restaurants Are Experiencing

Since COVID cases are rising and certain states are reinstating former safety protocols, the restaurant industry is once again taking a hit. Operators are scrambling to figure out their next steps as new guidance is given each day. Proof of vaccination in the restaurant industry is currently being discussed within some businesses. New York City is already implementing a “no vaccine, no service” policy at many of its restaurants and bars.

Organizations such as the NRA (National Restaurant Association) are advising restaurants to operate on trust­­— expecting that unvaccinated individuals will be honest and will remain masked unless they’re eating. They also recommend employees still wear masks due to OSHA calling for a safe and healthful workplace.

Many restaurants have already begun voluntarily reinstating face masks for all customers and employees in their businesses, regardless of statewide recommendations. Health officials are saying that it is very likely that mask mandates will soon be reinstated throughout the country.

Unfortunately, many restaurant employees have been greeted with hostility by customers when asked to wear face masks. They state that it is a violation of their freedom and rights. The animosity from customers has caused an increase in employees fleeing the restaurant industry and finding work elsewhere. Many restaurants in the industry are stuck wondering how to move forward in the best way.

With all that being said, there are still those who don’t want to get vaccinated and don’t want to wear masks and then there are those who don’t want to work or eat out in unsafe environments unless masks and vaccines are required. How does the restaurant industry go about pleasing everyone equally? What is the solution to this?

Tackle Pandemic Pain Points with Dining Alliance

With the surge in COVID-19 cases again and a super wave of Delta Variant, it is extremely crucial for everyone to do their part in preventing the spread.

If your operation is in need of masks, Dining Alliance has you covered. Our members get exclusive savings on products from Chef Works. Mask solutions such as their SKILD Series™ was diligently curated through collaboration with multiple industry leaders to deliver a face covering that is comfortable, versatile and stylish.

Don’t forget, it’s vital you keep your operation clean. As a Dining Alliance member, you can take advantage of discounts on many products and programs designed to keep your operation germ free. Contact us today to save on sanitation and janitorial products you’re already buying with the help of Dining Alliance.