Cruise operators are advised to launch trial voyages with volunteer passengers, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund officially kicks off, and registration for HD Expo in Las Vegas is now open. All that and more in this week’s Five on Friday.

Biden promotes $28.6 billion restaurant grant program

Photo by The White House/Flickr

Earlier this year, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill into law. Earlier this week he further encouraged the newly launched $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which was established as part of the larger aid package. Applications for the restaurant program opened on Monday, CNN reports. Recipients of the pilot program have already begun receiving funds, and those that started applying this week can expect up to 14 days, on average, from submission to funding. As of Wednesday, more than 180,000 eligible businesses had already applied. “Restaurants are more than a major driver of our economy, they’re woven into the fabric of our communities,” Biden said during a speech at the White House. “And so, for many families, restaurants are the gateway to opportunity, a key part of the American story.”

Nightclub culture and museums collide to keep the energy alive

Night Fever: Designing Club Culture is currently on view at the V&A Dundee in Scotland

While many dancefloors may still be empty, nightclubs, museums, and other venues are channeling the essence of pre-pandemic nightlife into exhibitions, immersive experiences, and even simulated, socially distanced raves, according to the Guardian. At Belgium techno club Fuse, for instance, the staff has curated Echoing Through Eternity, a pop-up exhibit that spans the venue featuring posters, flyers, and colorful photos from the club’s vibrant history. At Scotland’s V&A Dundee, now through the beginning of January 2022, Night Fever: Designing Club Culture explores the intersection of nightlife and design from the 1960s to today, as well as many iconic clubs across the globe.

Staffing is hospitality’s latest challenge

Photo by Ross Reitzammer/Flickr

Although restrictions are being lifted and consumer confidence is increasing, the hospitality industry is now faced with a new hurdle: staffing shortages. An article from NPR outlines the struggle many businesses—from food distributors and restaurants to hotels and catering companies—are navigating because seasonal foreign workers have been unable to obtain visas in time and many Americans are not racing back to the workforce, both because of the low wages being offered and fear of COVID-19. In order to weather this new storm, many venues are remaining closed during the week and even considering shutting down table service altogether.

Volunteer passengers will soon set sail on trial cruises

Photo from Pixabay

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not given cruise operators the go ahead to start sailing just yet, new guidelines issued this week pave the way toward getting back on open waters. According to USA Today, the phased restart to sailing will begin with simulated cruises occupied by volunteer passengers (unless ships are able to prove that 95 percent of passengers and 98 percent of its crew is vaccinated, at which point the cruise lines can welcome aboard paying customers). As for the trial voyages, passengers aren’t required to be vaccinated, the ship will have to reach at least 10 percent capacity, and trips can last between two and seven days. The CDC has previously stated that cruising in U.S. waters could restart in by mid-July.

The countdown to HD Expo is on!

After a 2020 hiatus, the annual HD Expo + Conference is returning to Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in less than four months. Held on August 24th and 25th, the two-day event will be chock full of inspirational conference sessions, much-needed networking opportunities, show floor activations, and new product showcases. We’re excited to bring the industry we love back together safely, and we hope you can join us! Register now, and check out the agenda, floorplan, and exhibitor list on

More from HD:
Alchemy Dispensary Elevates the Cannabis Experience
The Joseph Nashville Puts a Spotlight on Great Art
Pastrami Club Recalls a 1920s New York Speakeasy

The post Five on Friday: May 7th, 2021 appeared first on Hospitality Design.



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