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Hospitality Industry Urges Customers To Support Struggling Establishments

Big Table

Coronavirus-related restrictions have cost restaurants and hotels in Washington nearly $600 million dollars in lost business during the last month.

In addition, says Tobby Hatley from the Washington Hospitality Association, nearly 110,000 employees have lost their jobs.

At a briefing for reporters Tuesday, Hatley said many establishments have closed. But others are using creative ideas that fit into the pick-up, take out and delivery modes that are allowed.

“Parking lot drive through barbecues. Mixed drink kits to go. I especially like that one. Or for delivery. Revised menus and an increased social media presence are just a few of the things our members are doing to stay open, serve our customers and keep our valued employees, who are so important to our industry and our community," he said.

Hatley says the industry is encouraging restaurant customers to do what they can to support establishments, either through ordering meals at their favorite places or buying gift cares that can be redeemed later. He says you can also make donations at one of the organizations raising money for restaurant employees. They include Big Table, which is advocating for local restaurant workers. 

“Big Table is a non-profit. It takes donations. And then we’ll be able to come up with some financial assistance for all of the people who have been laid off in the Spokane region. And I might mention, just as a number, people like numbers, we believe we have 17,000 jobs part of the hospitality industry just in Spokane County, so this has been significant," Hatley said.