xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Owners: Anne Arundel can help coronavirus-strapped restaurants restricting delivery services, cutting fees

A group of restaurant owners asked Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman Thursday to consider additional measures to buoy their businesses as restrictions on indoor dining cut into revenue needed to pay staff and bills.

The panel discussion between the county executive and restaurant owners bracing for losses as the pandemic continues to worsen came hours after the Anne Arundel County health department reported 152 new coronavirus cases and three new deaths Thursday.

Advertisement

The group of six local restaurant owners spoke with Pittman during a public forum about how eateries can best weather the current surge of COVID-19 infections, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Restaurant owners asked Pittman to consider additional measures to buoy the industry once again hurt as restrictions on indoor dining cut into revenue needed to pay staff and bills. Pittman in October announced a relief program that rewarded $10,000 to struggling restaurants, but the backlog of expenses for utilities, payroll and supplies burned through the money quickly, the panelists said.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Monica Alvarado, owner of Bread and Butter Kitchen in Annapolis and founder of Feed Anne Arundel, asked Pittman to consider waiving license fees for 2021 and explore legislation restricting third-party delivery services like GrubHub and Door Dash from gouging restaurants.

“They’re taking 30%, sometimes more from each restaurant,” Alvarado said. “We have no negotiating power without talking to each other. We don’t know who’s paying what and our restaurant servers who are putting these meals together, making sure they’re accurate are getting none of the tips.”

Other panelists included Waheed Tufail of Elevation Burger; Roxana Rodriguez of Caliente Grill; Mew Rattanawatkul of Mali Thai Restaurant; Deena Bradbury of Grumps Cafe; and Jody Danek of Lemongrass and Metropolitan Bar and Kitchen.

The panelists asked Pittman to pump more money into Feed Anne Arundel, a creation of the pandemic born from restaurants in need of customers and hungry families in need of food. The organization pays partner restaurants to make meals for county residents, thus keeping the businesses afloat, employees working and people fed.

“We want to take care of people,” Bradbury said, “and that’s how we keep going.”

The county’s coronavirus case rate dipped slightly from Wednesday but hovers at about 30 cases per 100,000 residents, an unsustainable rate of infection that will overwhelm health services and hospitals if it continues long term, Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman told the panel.

Roughly 75% of intensive care unit beds, those reserved for patients with more serious illnesses, are occupied in the county’s hospitals, according to county data. Roughly 85% of acute care beds are occupied. The state reported a slight dip in hospitalizations, with five fewer Marylanders occupying beds than on Wednesday, but ICU cases, those considered more severe, continue to climb.

The total number of cases in Anne Arundel County since the pandemic took hold in March now stands at 17,318. At least 288 county residents have died. Another 12 are believed to have died of the virus but were never tested.

Pittman announced a five minute moment of silence at 6 p.m. on Thursday in honor of those 300 who likely died from the virus. Across the state, 2,044 new cases and 48 new deaths were reported. The rolling seven-day statewide positivity rate is now 7.68%, up 0.16% from Wednesday.

The county is still taking applications for the restaurant relief program through the end of the day, Dec. 4. To apply, visit https://www.aaedc.org/business/financing-and-tax-credits/restaurant-and-food-service-recovery-grant/.

Cases by ZIP codes

Here is an alphabetical breakdown of the number of cases in each ZIP code in Anne Arundel County as of Thursday. State numbers are in parentheses. ZIP codes that overlap more than one county are in italics. Anne Arundel County did not update figures on Tuesday.

The state numbers also account for cases at congregate living facilities in those ZIP codes, which the county numbers do not include.

  • Annapolis (21401): 1,163 (1341)
  • Annapolis (21403): 1,146 (1242)
  • Annapolis (21405): 19 (26)
  • Annapolis (21409): 445 (495)
  • Annapolis Junction (20701): 1 (11)
  • Arnold (21012): 471 (562)
  • Brooklyn (21225): 368 (1212)
  • BWI Airport (21240): 0 (N/A)
  • Churchton (20733): 46 (48)
  • Crofton (21114): 527 (611)
  • Crownsville (21032): 183 (234)
  • Curtis Bay (21226): 78 (213)
  • Davidsonville (21035): 133 (145)
  • Deale (20751): 51 (54)
  • Dunkirk (20754): 11 (124)
  • Edgewater (21037): 446 (549)
  • Fort Meade (20755): (126)
  • Friendship (20758): 13 (16)
  • Galesville (20765): 10 (12)
  • Gambrills (21054): 268 (353)
  • Gibson Island (21056): 5 (N/A)
  • Glen Burnie (21060): 1,156 (1325)
  • Glen Burnie (21061): 1,834 (1975)
  • Hanover (21076): 549 (692)
  • Harmans (21077): 13 (12)
  • Harwood (20776): 58(64)
  • Jessup (20794): 96 (984)
  • Laurel (20724): 785 (833)
  • Linthicum Heights (21090): 304 (340)
  • Lothian (20711): 203 (205)
  • Millersville (21108): 451 (474)
  • Naval Academy (21402): (71)
  • North Beach (20714): 2 (75)
  • Odenton (21113): 811 (852)
  • Owings (20736): 0 (171)
  • Pasadena (21122): 1,685 (1762)
  • Riva (21140): 50 (54)
  • Severn (21144): 1,041 (1083)
  • Severna Park (21146): 601 (698)
  • Shady Side (20764): 61 (62)
  • Tracys Landing (20779): 16 (17)
  • West River (20778): 34 (36)

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement