Now, a look at how restaurants are adapting to "the new normal." The National Restaurant Association estimates that about 40% of US restaurants will be forced to close because of the pandemic. Many will never re-open. Here in Maryland, indoor dining is now allowed in many jurisdictions, although not yet here in Baltimore City.
Later in this program, we'll be joined by two chef-owners of restaurants here in Baltimore City. Alex Perez is the owner and executive chef of Papi Cuisine, a six-year-old custom catering service and recently, a brick-and-mortar Fells Point eatery serving Afro-Cuban fusion and traditional Dominican food. Khari Parker is the owner and executive chef of Connie’s Chicken and Waffles, a family-style sit-down and take-out eatery he founded in 2016 with his brother Shawn, now with four locations in Lexington and Broadway Markets, Charles Plaza and in Wilmington, Delaware.
But Tom begins with Martha Lucius, a former Charm City restaurant owner who is now working as an independent restaurant strategist. Dave Seel is a founder and principal with Blue Fork Marketing, a firm that caters to clients in the food and hospitality industries. At the start of the pandemic shutdown three months ago, Seel set up the Baltimore Restaurant Relief Fund. Lucius and Seel join Tom on the line from their homes in Baltimore.