MI Restaurants Issue Reintegration Plan for the Hospitality Industry


Photo by Eric Tompkins on Unsplash


The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) yesterday released a two-pronged, metric-driven roadmap to eventually restore normal operations within the hospitality industry. The proposed plan authored by the MRLA aspires to provide a clear, metric-driven solution for elected officials that will in turn enable hotel and restaurant operators to remain in business, restore jobs, and return to a more Pure Michigan.

As a continuation of the MRLA’s #MISafeDining initiative, the first step of the plan is the creation of a reintegration schedule that directly ties restaurant and event space occupancy to the COVID-19 “Daily Positive Test Rate,” reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). The data is clear, easy to understand and available to the public through the “MI Safe Start Map.”

“We have long advocated the need for a more comprehensive strategy for the economic reintegration of our restaurants, banquet centers and entertainment venues in Michigan,” said Justin Winslow, president & CEO of the MRLA. “Through this plan, we are putting our metrics where our mouth is and hope it proves a useful tool to elected leaders as we enter a new phase of the pandemic.”

The second step of the plan focuses on the importance of a systematic and expedited vaccination of the hospitality industry as “Other Essential Frontline Workers” under Category 1b established by MDHHS. There is precedence in prioritizing hospitality workers for the vaccine. States with similarly prolonged industry shutdowns like Colorado, New York, Massachusetts and Washington D.C. have already begun the targeted vaccination of the hospitality industry, arguing it is necessary to the successful reintegration of the very public-facing industry in their states.

“There is no faster way to build back our restaurants and hotels than through the systematic, expedited vaccination of Michigan’s hospitality industry,” said Winslow. “Vaccination will provide safety to frontline workers, allow for the stable reintegration of Michigan’s second largest employer and restore public confidence that they may safely dine and travel once again.”

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