As we go to print, the CDC is reporting that 66% of eligible adults have received their first COVID-19 vaccination, and it’s likely that by the time you read this our national goal of 70% vaccinated will be achieved. This is important because the success of our national vaccination program is directly tied to safely reopening all sectors of the economy, and that is welcome news for the beleaguered restaurant industry.

The signs of fully reopening abound, from Bruce Springsteen announcing dates for his return to Broadway to the vast majority of schools planning for 100% student occupancy in the fall. In June, New York and Illinois announced full reopenings with complete elimination of COVID-era restrictions at full-service restaurants. The resulting uptick in tourism is likely to be felt in the economy as a whole and the restaurant industry in particular.

In Congress, a bipartisan plan to augment the Restaurant Revitalization Act with an additional $60 billion in direct aid to restaurants is under consideration with the full support of groups like the National Restaurant Association, the Independent Restaurant Coalition and The James Beard Foundation.

Industry events are gaining steam as well with plans moving ahead for HD Expo in Las Vegas and The NAFEM Show (this event was canceled on August 5) in Orlando, Fla., both taking place in August. The hospitality industry appears hungry for a return to face-to-face gatherings after a year and a half of being denied.

Let’s all get vaccinated and get back to it!