As coronavirus cases rise across much of the U.S., restaurants and retailers are again contending with new restrictions and staffing challenges. Unlike the initial virus surge, when much of the country shut down, this one coincides with rising demand.
Big chains say they are more prepared for handling Covid-19 restrictions now, as they have had time to invest in safety measures and new ways to sell to customers to-go. State governments haven’t issued blanket state-at-home orders so far, with some counties and cities installing curfews and more targeted restrictions.
“Are people going to be closing businesses back down, or are we going to try to work through this and move forward? Various parts of the country are handling this differently,” said David Deno, chief executive of Outback Steakhouse BLMN 2.49% parent Bloomin’ Brands Inc., in an interview. He said the chain hasn’t seen a drop in dining demand since case counts started rising.