Today Minnesota’s leading hospitality organizations – the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, Hospitality Minnesota, and the Minnesota Craft Brewers Association issued the following open letter to both their members and customers:

Bars, restaurants, and breweries have been given specific guidelines to follow. We strongly urge every hospitality establishment – every single one – to follow these guidelines. The key requirements are:

  • Have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
  • Ensure a minimum of 6 feet of distance between tables
  • No standing or congregating – people must be seated at tables or the bar
  • Limit indoor occupant capacity to no more than 50% up to 250 persons
  • Do not exceed 250 persons in outdoor spaces
  • Limit table service to 4 persons, or 6 if part of one family unit; 2 if at the bar
  • Require reservations
  • Require workers to wear masks at all times and strongly encourage customers to wear masks when not eating or drinking, especially indoors

The full guidelines can be found on the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) website.

Tony Chesak, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, said, “After bars and restaurants have been closed by executive order for many months, to now working with 50% indoor capacity, one of the very worst things that can happen to our industry is to go backwards. Industry partners are collaborating to advocate that both customers and business leaders work together to stay focused on helping the industry. And that means following the Executive Orders so we can, as soon as possible, re-open at 100% capacity.”

As hospitality industry members, there is a shared responsibility that we all have to keep each other safe at social gatherings, an especially important consideration for the upcoming holiday weekend where we know friends and families will want to be together at bars and restaurants. “By doing our part to maintain social distancing and wearing a mask in bars and restaurants, we show respect for each other’s safety and support of our favorite businesses ability to continue operation,” stated Liz Rammer, CEO of Hospitality Minnesota.

The vast majority of guests, workers and businesses are doing an excellent job of following the mandatory state guidelines. “Any deviance from the rules – even by a slim minority of individuals – can threaten the future of our favorite local businesses,” stated Lauren Bennett McGinty, executive director of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild.

Many hospitality establishments will not survive another closure so it’s in everyone’s best interest to support their survival and do their part.

We also remind the public, our customers, that distancing of six feet and wearing masks in common areas is encouraged and appreciated and will have the greatest impact on slowing the spread of the virus.

Please be in touch with our organizations if we can be of further assistance or provide any clarifications on requirements. Let’s do this together and turn the dial of re-opening forward – and not back. Our industry survival depends on it.

Standing together,

Tony Chesak

Executive Director, Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association

Liz Rammer

President & CEO, Hospitality Minnesota

Lauren Bennett McGinty

Executive Director, Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild