Stop the closure of Miami Dade County Restaurants

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Dear Mayor Giménez,

I am in complete disbelief in regards to the executive order you have signed shutting down restaurant indoor dining areas starting July 8, 2020.

I write to you today with the intention of you reversing your position and allowing the restaurants to remain open, just as you have done with gyms. There is no specific data that has shown that restaurants, mostly those who follow the strict guidelines placed on them, are any more prone to transmit COVID-19. Social distancing, mandatory masks, clear processes for disinfecting, and other measures make our industry one of the most scrutinized and monitored in all of South Florida. It is time to put politics to the side and do the right thing.

The restaurant industry is in dire crisis.  A compromise was reached with gyms, and I strongly believe that one must be reached for restaurant in Miami-Dade County. I implore you to do the same with the restaurants and put the executive order on hold.

Owners and employees in food and beverage play a pivotal roll in stimulating the Miami-Dade County economy, accounting for over 5% of the workforce. All restaurants, their owners and employees are essential, and should not be discarted. By issuing an order to close restaurants, again, you have placed thousands of families in dire situations without merit. Not all restaurants have the capacity of outdoor seating, and for others a take-out option doesn’t generate the minimal revenue needed to survive. This is once again creating another financial insecurity in thousands of homes across the cities, including mine, for unfounded reasons. And if the problem happens to be compliance with a few select businesses, then increase the penalties for them breaking the rules. But let’s make sure we don’t penalize the whole industry because of a few bad apples.

You tweeted earlier today that you virtually met with medical experts and compromised to “keep gyms and fitness studios open. All doing activities inside must wear a mask or do strenuous training outside staying 10 feet apart without mask”. My question is simple, was keeping dining areas in restaurants open discussed during those meetings? And if so, what led to the conclusion that it is safer to go to a gym and sweat, breathe heavy, and be able to work out outside without masks versus going to eat at a restaurant with the extremely strict restrictions?

Mayor Giménez, as a husband and a father, I am sure you understand how important it is to provide for your family. And now more than ever, during these unprecedented times, we must be able to work safely, obeying the guidelines, and set our industry back to recovery. Restaurants are not the problem, so please do not punish them as part of a rash decision in your search to find a temporary solution.

I, and the entire food and beverage industry, await your response.



Felix R. Lopez

MenuAds, Inc