(TERRE HAUTE, Ind.) — There are signs of life at Indiana restaurants after a pandemic year.
Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association president Patrick Tamm says the hospitality industry
has “turned a strong corner” in Indiana, though he warns there’s still a long road ahead. He
predicts it’ll be a year or more before business fully recovers, while hotels won’t be back to pre-
pandemic levels for another three years.
Tamm has said the pandemic put a fifth of Indiana’s restaurants out of business. But he says
restaurants are recovering faster in Indiana than elsewhere. He gives credit to mayors who cleared
a path for outdoor dining, and state officials who he says have worked with restaurant owners, not
against them. While Indiana has sometimes paused the loosening of capacity limits — Governor
Holcomb initially hoped to lift limits entirely last July — Tamm says the state has never moved
backwards. He says restaurants have been devastated in other states which lifted restrictions only
to reimpose them.
And Tamm says restaurants have set clear expectations for employees and customers. Many
restaurants and hotels have posted a “Hoosier Hospitality Promise” at the entrance, pledging to
screen employees daily, follow Indiana’s mask mandate, clean rigorously, and make sanitizer or
hand-washing stations available to customers.