Almost overnight, the coronavirus has rapidly changed the hospitality industry. The Oklahoma Restaurant Association (ORA) urges Oklahomans across the state to keep calm and carry out their meals from local establishments. The association continues to engage with state, local and federal officials to help address the coronavirus public health issue. Meanwhile, restaurants continue to protect employees while safely providing food to their customers through carry out, delivery and curbside options, including canned and bottled wines and beer.

“We encourage people to continue supporting their favorite restaurants through these difficult times. There are over 184,700 foodservice jobs in Oklahoma who will all be affected by the closure of restaurants and declining numbers of those who dine out. We must remain calm and continue supporting our hospitality industry,” according to Jim Hopper, President of the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.

The hospitality landscape has changed dramatically. The Oklahoma Restaurant Association is in discussion with the Oklahoma Employment Securities Commission on a variety of issues, including a waiver of the increase an employer receives in their unemployment insurance payments when a laid off employee must file for benefits.

The association has also begun discussions with Governor Kevin Stitt, legislators and others on a package of measures that could bring relief to restaurants when they are allowed to reopen.

“In partnership with the Oklahoma State Health Department and local Health Departments, restaurants will continue to utilize good sanitation and training of their staff, as they have for many years,” said Hopper.