The outlook of the U.S. restaurant industry remains bleak, major hotel brands implement cleanliness initiatives, and architects continue to innovate. All this and more in this week’s Five on Friday.
New data sheds light on the restaurant industry
Independent surveys conducted by Eater and the James Beard Foundation paint a stark picture of the restaurant industry’s current climate. In partnership with the Independent Restaurant Coalition, the James Beard Foundation polled 1,400 restauranteurs across the country and found that 51 percent of restaurants have taken on at least $50,000 in new debt obligations as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Eater collected data from 330 restaurant owners and discovered that 44 percent believe it will take six months to a year to return to normal operations. Additionally, Eater found that 74 percent of restaurant owners who applied for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were approved through the second round of funding.
Architects develop mobile vaccination centers
According to Dezeen, London-based practice Waugh Thistleton Architects has devised a plan that, if implemented, could potentially immunize 60 million UK residents over the course of 16 weeks. Transforming 6,500 shipping containers into mobile vaccinations centers, each 40-foot unit would feature separate registration, vacation, and recuperation zones. “Our goal is to work with the very best people in the industry to get these manufactured and ready for deployment for when the vaccine arrives,” says the firm, “and to share our expertise and experience with other countries to make this a global solution.”
The state of NYC commercial real estate
Even as the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations begin to fall in New York, the outlook of the metropolitan area’s commercial real estate market is grim. According to The New York Times, Empire State Realty Trust, which owns nine Manhattan properties, including the Empire State Building, did not receive April rent from 25 percent of its office tenants and 50 percent of its retail tenants. With annual property taxes—money that helps fund the Fire Department, trash pickup, public hospitals, and more—due in July and landlords scrambling to come up with the money, the city could continue to be on track for a bleak future.
Hotels begin to reopen with cleanliness top of mind
Following guidelines set by local and federal governments, hotels and resorts across the globe are slowly resuming operations with newfound social distancing procedures and sanitary protocols in place. For instance, Hilton is teaming up with Lysol and the Mayo Clinic to devise a new standard of cleanliness, dubbed Hilton CleanStay, that will debut in June, reports Skift. Several other hotel companies are creating their own set of guidelines in hopes of increasing consumer confidence in the hotel and travel industry. For a comprehensive list of initiatives, click here.
HD reveals 2020 Platinum Circle honorees
We’re excited to announce the five distinguished industry professionals who will be inducted into HD’s Platinum Circle hall of fame during the 32nd annual gala celebration on November 10th in New York. This year’s honorees are Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu, partners of Neri&Hu; Larry Traxler, senior vice president of global design services at Hilton; Jennifer Johanson, president and CEO of EDG Design; and Brad Wilson, president and co-partner of Ace Hotel Group and Atelier Ace. This year, above all others, provides us with the opportunity to celebrate and recognize those who have dedicated their careers to enhancing our beloved industry and tight-knit community. #hospitalitystrong