New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon: Time for All to Step Up and Get Our Restaurants Through the Next Few Critical Months!

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth) today announced his direct, ongoing support of the restaurant industry and appealed for others to join him in the coming critical months by patronizing local restaurants.

A comparison of state COVID statistics and restaurant restrictions. (Click for full size)

“We started in the spring with the ‘30-in-30’ – 30 restaurants in 30 days while trying not to gain 30 pounds!’ initiative,” said O’Scanlon.  “We blew that up, but 40-in-30 simply didn’t have the same symmetry. So, I decided to keep going. We’re now well over 110 different restaurants over the last few months. I’ll concede I’ve been to a few more than once, and have a ton more on my list!”

O’Scanlon’s appeal comes in the face of a potentially heartbreaking next few months for restaurateurs.

“For many of our beloved establishments these coming months will be like a marathoner, exhausted, being able to see the finish line … but not being able to reach it. With warm weather and vaccine impact coming this spring we just have to help them make it through the next few months. Those of us who love them understand the critical importance of this core, job-creating industry. Any lucky enough to afford it can play a make-or-break role in their survival by making a pointed effort to safely dine out and get take-out (and tip well, too),” O’Scanlon continued.

“Remembering to tip extra during these times – particularly on slow nights – can make the difference in your server crying because their tips were short; or crying tears of joy because of the generosity of a loyal customer who made the difference. There are a good number of us who have done OK financially during the pandemic, while so many others have been hit hard. Let’s share the wealth and help our friends survive!”

O’Scanlon documented his visits to over 100 establishments – more than 265 meals in 30 towns – over the last eight months. The extensive list includes restaurants from Monmouth County across the state including Woody’s Ocean Grill, 26 West, McLoone’s, Val’s Tavern, Blue Grotto, and On the Deck.

“These folks and their staff have busted their butts to create proven safe environments. We’ve seen very few instances of transmission at restaurants due to their hygiene practices, HVAC systems, and concerted efforts by all to adopt safety protocols. These are the places, the spaces, the people, the food and drinks that we love; and we’ll all miss that if they don’t make it.  Let’s reward them with the lifeline of our business!” said O’Scanlon.

“My goal at the outset was to take all the  money I would have spent on travel/entertainment and business meetings – none of which was happening over the last few months – and invest that money in Monmouth County and New Jersey businesses. I confess I was inspired to get a little carried away by the passion of the restaurant owners and staff I met along the way! They are wonderful, tough, warm, dedicated people who are the bedrock of this industry.

“As we enter the new year with hope and optimism that spring will bring an end to the Covid nightmare, we all need to do our part to get our businesses through the next handful of challenging months. So many of these business owners have depleted their savings to get this far, and they’re still facing limits and challenges to their operations. So it’s up to all of us who can afford it to help our beleaguered restaurants make it the rest of the way home. Let’s do this!” O’Scanlon concluded.

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