SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WHSM) — The Bay State is projected to reopen Monday, May 4.
With that comes employees who are laid off going back to work.
Restaurant owners and managers are optimistic about their employees coming back.
It’s up in the air if employees are willing to come back to work.
“None of these people wanted to collect unemployment, to begin with. It’s just unfortunate circumstances. They’re servers,” said Kyle Corgis, head chef at Emma’s Everyday Gourmet Restaurant.
Emma’s Everyday Gourmet Restaurant is hopeful employees will return to work when they can have dine-in customers again.
They said it is because of the family-vibe small businesses bring.
“We’re a tight-knit family, and anybody that’s laid off right now, unemployed or has been discharged from a private small business, they’re looking really forward to going back because it’s not about the business. It’s about customers we have and the family we hold within ourselves here,” Corgis said.
According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant and food service industry will lose more than $80 billion in sales by the end of April. That includes $30 billion in March and $50 million in April.
The entire industry will lose at least $240 billion by the end of 2020.
On top of that, two out of three restaurant employees have lost their jobs.
If they qualified for unemployment, they’re getting $600 a week from the federal government on top of state unemployment.
With this cash flow, some people may not go back to work right away.
“It’s going to affect their pocketbook that they’re not going to have the extra that they’re getting right now coming in, but they have to look at the future. How long is that going to last,” said Bill Boisseau, owner of 7B’s Bar & Grill in Westfield.
Boisseau is confident that the majority of his employees will come back to work when they reopen, but he is aware there could be some issues.
“It’s going to be tough. I know we’ll have some people that are going to want to stay out. We’ll have to play it by ear and see what happens,” Boisseau said.
As of now restaurants can open back up on Monday May 4. Gov. Charlie Baker has not decided if he will push back restaurants from opening up on that day.