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Trending this week: Starbucks preparing to reopen stores in the U.S. and more on how the restaurant industry will be changed by coronavirus

White House coronavirus task force outlines phases for reopening restaurants and bars.

This week on Nation's Restaurant News, Shake Shack furloughed or laid off more than 1,000 workers at restaurants. The layoffs come a week after the fast-casual burger chain received a $10 million loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, which it later said it would to return. The company said it was paying out paid time off and covering 100% of medical benefits through July 1 for all furloughed managers and home office employees.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said the coffee chain is preparing to reopen stores in the U.S., which have all been closed with the exception of delivery and drive-thru options since March 21. Johnson said in a letter that store openings would be carefully selected, and that some Starbucks stores may allow for contactless pickup, while others will allow for to-go ordering even as dining rooms remain closed.

President Trump and his coronavirus task force outlined guidelines for states to follow when reopening businesses, with sit-down dining opening first, followed by bars. Phase One of "'Opening Up America" calls for restaurants, not bars, to reopen with strict social distancing in dining rooms. Trump said during the press conference, “We’re opening up our country and we have to do that. America wants to be open... A national shutdown is not a sustainable long term solution.”

Click through our gallery to check out our video interview with Andrew Gruel of Slapfish on how the seafood chain has adjusted during the coronavirus pandemic and to see what else was trending on this week.


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