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Working Lunch: Mike Whatley, VP of state affairs and grassroots advocacy, discusses the industry’s key issues. Also, President Biden’s vaccine mandates, actions by governors and mayors.

But the numbers crunched by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics don't fully reflect the impact of omicron.

Reality Check: Any new year brings areas of uncertainty and concern. Here are the big ones confronting the foodservice industry.

A proposal is coming together for re-upping the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, and the attention alone is kindling optimism.

This time, operators simply can’t find enough healthy employees to staff their kitchens and dining rooms for service as the highly contagious omicron variant runs like wildfire through restaurants.

The coffee giant will “strongly encourage” its employees to get vaccinated by Feb. 9. Those that don’t will have to pay for their own tests.

Earlier this week, Baker Miller said it would require proof of booster shots for dine-in customers. But the café’s owners decided to shut the dining room entirely after receiving threats from anti-vaxxers.

Seven Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants are closed until later this month and the multi-concept group will be requiring booster shots for eligible employees immediately, with diners requiring a booster starting Jan. 24.

Boston and Chicago are both limiting dine-in service to guests who can prove they've been vaccinated against COVID-19, and Oakland is expected to follow.

Surging COVID cases among employees and customers are forcing restaurants to temporarily shut down during what is typically a busy holiday season. And the new year brings more uncertainty.

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