Updated: April 28, 2021 11:15 PM
Created: April 28, 2021 08:45 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Restaurants and catering companies were some of the hardest-hit industries during the height of the pandemic, but are now beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he's lifting restrictions on these businesses, and allowing them to soon operate without any curfews.
Catering companies both small and large welcome Cuomo's announcement on lifting COVID-19 related restrictions on their industry with open arms. William Mammoliti operates Calabresella's On Park and was happy to hear the news.
"It will really help our business. Obviously during COVID, catering almost went down to zero," Mammoliti said.
Starting May 17, attendees of catered events must show proof of their vaccination status or a recent negative COVID-19 test result. Also on that day, the midnight curfew is lifted for outdoor dining areas. On May 31, all restrictions are lifted for catered events. The midnight curfew for indoor dining goes away as well.
Calabresella's normally caters birthday and graduation parties. Mammoliti says last year, food orders still came in from time to time.
"On a small scale to the point where I wouldn't even consider a party," Mammoliti said.
Loyal customers helped keep the business running.
"So we had a lot of walk-ins, and our walk-ins obviously a lot of people down here supported our business," Mammoliti said.
Larger catering companies like Lorraine's Food Factory are used to feeding hundreds of people at a time. Owner Lorraine Serpe is already working on the demand for her services.
"I've already gotten three concerts for in the summer. Two are in July, and one is in August, but it doesn't matter, they're booking them which means the music industry is coming back to life which is terrific for all the people that have gone without for over a year," Serpe said.
She goes on to say besides waiting for this announcement trying to keep her business afloat has been a challenge. Catered events are far different now than ever before due to fear.
"They're doing boxed lunches, box breakfasts, boxed brunches. I have a boat trip with boxed dinners. So they're in that boxed state of mind," Serpe said.
Larger catered events inside a person's home can resume on May 3. State rules stipulate that the event is staffed by licensed caterers who are permitted by local officials, and they must adhere to safety guidelines.
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