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The Bottom Line: Restaurant industry job creation has been steady and largely shrugged off two recent surges. And there are signs people are coming back to work.

Despite the lifting of mask and vaccine mandates in many places, some operators say they’re sticking with their COVID-cautious practices—at least for now.

Eating and drinking places added 123,700 jobs, bringing their total workforce to within 800,000 of the pre-pandemic level.

Woven into his comments on America's challenges at home and abroad were a few tidbits with special meaning for the foodservice industry. Here's a rundown.

Operations on the West Coast no longer have to require masks, and establishments in the nation's largest city can drop their proof-of-vaccine requirement as of Monday.

Chicago, New York, Seattle and a number of other jurisdictions are modifying the safety protocols. But masks are not disappearing.

Employers are also finding that more hours are needed because new hires aren't as efficient.

Industry sales declined for the third time in four months in January, according to new federal data. And the slowdown appeared to accelerate.

Workers are now entitled to up to 80 hours of pay while they nurse themselves or a family member back from a case of COVID-19.

As omicron ebbs, the industry is leaning on governments to end some emergency measures and make others permanent.

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