Philly’s restaurant industry struggles with vaccine mandate


Philly’s hotel and restaurant industries soften in new vaccine mandate.

Driving the news: On Monday, the city began requiring proof of vaccination for customers visiting bars, sports venues and most establishments that sell food and drink on site.

  • The warrant takes effect as Philadelphia grapples with a wave of COVID-19, primarily due to the Omicron variant. Since Tuesday, the city has nearly 40% positivity rate.

Go back: Just before the holidays, a few establishments closed temporarily due to epidemics or potential exposures.

  • Hook and master indoor dining room closed and only does take out orders until January 9.
  • Khyber Pass Pub closed two weeks ago but has since reopened.
  • Harper’s Garden had to cut its dining hours last week due to staff issues related to COVID.

What they say : “It’s the floor, not the ceiling,” Avram Hornik, who owns a number of businesses, including Morgan’s pier, Harper’s garden and Cherry Street Pier, said about the warrant.

  • Hornik has said it wants to ensure the safety of its staff and customers. He acknowledged that business had been slower this week, but said it would be unfair to blame the warrant because there are so many other factors.

Renee Maffiore, Director of dairy, said fewer guests have arrived since the mandate took effect, but those who do tend to be repeat customers.

  • She also said it was too early to say if there would be a financial impact.
  • “Our staff are happy about it and feel more secure coming to work,” she said.

during this time, many members of the West Philadelphia Corridor Collaboration, which are mostly small businesses, are not happy with the decision to introduce more restrictions without additional help, group chairman Jabari Jones said.

  • “Lawmakers need to be more creative in how to help livelihood-conscious businesses,” Jones said.
  • Jones is also concerned that guests may be pressured into other locations outside of town that have less stringent requirements, especially venues that depend on large group events.

Ben Fileccia, Director of Operations and Strategy Pennsylvania Restaurant and Accommodation Association, said he had heard anecdotally from members of the restaurant that requiring proof of vaccination did not deter businesses.

  • But, he also mentioned that it was “troubling” that hotels, casinos and event catering companies lost many scheduled evenings because clients feared they would not be able to host events under the mandate.

To note : As of Tuesday, no complaint had been filed on line 311.

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