On May 14, 2020, Holland & Knight's West Coast Land Use and Environment Group hosted a virtual town hall discussion, reflecting upon how California's shelter-in-place orders for the COVID-19 crisis have impacted restaurant operations and assessing expected obstacles and opportunities when dine-in restaurant services resume. Titled "The Future of Food and Beverage Operators in California During and Post Shelter-in-Place," the panel featured a curated selection of representatives from the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, the Office of the Los Angeles Mayor, the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of California and private operators in the food and beverage industry.

The event was moderated by Holland & Knight Partners Michael Newman and Andrew Starrels, along with Associate Paloma Perez-McEvoy. The panelists included Manny Espinoza, Executive Director, Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of California; Stan Savage, Chief Operating Officer, A.F. Gilmore Company; Jacob Appelsmith, Director, California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control; Eric Hirata, Chief Deputy Director, California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control; Matthew Botting, General Counsel, California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control; Nick Maricich, Director of Planning Policy and Development, Office of the Los Angeles Mayor; and Brett Thompson and Lucy Ramirez Thompson, Owners, Pez Cantina, downtown Los Angeles.

The town hall participants offered insights on:

  • how consumer trends and shelter-in-place orders have combined to impact the food and beverage industry
  • what relief regulators are contemplating to aid industry recovery efforts once dine-in services resume
  • what other avenues private operators have explored to replace reduced revenues during quarantine and beyond, as society continues to navigate the impacts of the pandemic

If you were unable to join us for our town hall, you can view a recording here.

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