Coalition creates Michigan Restaurant Promise to protect public health

Courtesy Brewery Vivant

A group of Michigan restaurant and bar owners signed a commitment to ensure the health and safety of employees, customers and the community.

About 104 restaurants and 22 local and statewide business groups as of Thursday signed on to the Michigan Restaurant Promise, in which restaurant and bar owners commit to upholding the state of Michigan and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention safety guidelines at their establishments to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“Small businesses are the heart of West Michigan, and it’s great to see this group of local restaurant and bar owners be leaders in putting people first,” said Hanna Schulze, interim president of Local First. “The Michigan Restaurant Promise can serve as a model for other communities to hold their local businesses accountable and encourage them to prioritize the health and wellbeing of their employees and customers above all else.”

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said she is hopeful the promise will lessen the suffering of the industry and the region as a whole.

“It’s great to see this group rally together to protect the health and safety of their employees, customers and our community,” she said.

Chris Andrus, co-owner of Mitten Brewing Co., said he has been “frustrated” with bars and restaurants that won’t enforce health and safety rules during the pandemic.

“Those establishments threaten to undo the many sacrifices our community and industry have made and undermine the hard work of establishments like mine committed to keeping the public safe,” he said.

Added Kris Spaulding, co-owner of Brewery Vivant: “As restaurant owners and managers, we feel a sense of responsibility for the health and well-being of our employees, our guests and the community at large. That’s why we started this initiative — to show our communities we are taking this seriously and are committed to protecting their health and safety.”

Kyle Van Strien, co-owner of Long Road Distillers, said Long Road signed the pledge out of great concern for his business’s team members, guests and the industry as a whole.

“We are committed to working together and holding one another accountable, and I am proud to sign onto this pledge,” he said.

The promise

The commitment includes the following:

  • Each staff member will receive a daily wellness check, including having their temperature taken.
  • Staff members that interact with customers and/or work closely together will always wear clean masks.
  • Tables will be spaced to allow proper social distancing.
  • CDC requirements for cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces will be met or exceeded.
  • Establishments will regularly evaluate and alter procedures to provide customers with great service while also keeping patrons and staff members safe.
  • Restaurants and bars will be transparent when there is an identified positive COVID-19 test on staff and will meet or exceed all requirements prior to reopening.
  • Groups will be limited to no more than 10 people.
  • Staff will be asked to remain safe outside of work and follow all of the same protocols required while on the job.
  • All of the regulations bars and restaurants are required to meet in the state of Michigan will be enforced.

More information about the initiative is available at

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