May 2021: Restaurant Good News Roundup
Another month down and the light at the end of the tunnel is ever brighter. The northern hemisphere is in full bloom with the sun shining bright. While the pandemic is nowhere near an end, the CDC in the U.S. recently released a statement that vaccinated Americans are safe enough to congregate without masks, depending on the rules of the establishment, an opportunity that is still a little tricky. Elsewhere, the U.S. government has signaled support for waiving intellectual property protections for the vaccines, which has the potential to help countries still struggling to overcome the pandemic. Join us for our May 2021: Restaurant Good News Roundup as we uncover the best that the world has to offer this month, as the industry slowly rebuilds.
Got Your Money
The U.S. restaurant industry has finally started to see a little financial relief. After a year that saw a $240b shortfall, the industry has struggled to persevere through immense challenges. Now 16,000 establishments have received billions from the $28.6b Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The average award of $125,000 is intended to help operations recover operational costs lost during pandemic-related lockdowns. To help the industry stay ahead of the curve, the National Restaurant Association has already begun an advocacy campaign to replenish the fund to avoid running out.
Restaurants around the country have struggled with staffing, but many are doing their best to provide incentives for incoming employees. Industry giant Subway recently went on a hiring spree, looking to replace 40K workers around the world, a trend that the National Restaurant Association indicates is widespread. Elsewhere, Chipotle raised their wage to $15 an hour, which has signaled competitive wages or other perks at many restaurants around the U.S. Always remember that you can gird yourself against any increase to pay wages through smart, connected technologies.
Beer Drinkers and Heck Raisers
If you learn nothing else in this world, understand that Texas is gonna Texas. The state recently passed legislation to make alcohol delivery permanently legal. An initiative that caught traction during the pandemic, off-premise alcohol delivery offered a valuable lifeline to struggling restaurateurs in a time of need. That lifeline has been extended in Texas, with many U.S. states considering the same, which has the potential to decrease public intoxication or drunk driving.
A Budding Friendship
Speaking of brewing opportunities, Anheuser-Busch has taken aim at not just helping the industry recover but making it better than ever before. As part of their “Let’s Grab A Beer” campaign, the company has invested in communities impacted by the pandemic to help them get back on their feet. As part of that initiative, Stella Artois has released an aluminum bottle as part o their “Open for Good” campaign that gives proceeds of their sales back to the restaurant industry.
Ain’t No Party Like a Third Party
Off-premise dining has remained an integral component of restaurant strategy well before the pandemic hit. Throughout the pandemic though, off-premise dining shifted from an operational consideration to an absolute necessity. While third-party delivery services have their pros and cons, Grubhub recently stepped up to help out small restaurants by providing them with self-service, native ordering systems. This move provides equity for smaller operations, by minimizing their costs, while providing them with an opportunity to expand their off-premise operations.
Hide ‘n Seek
Six restaurants in the Upper Eastside of Miami have banded together for an unusual game. Entitled “Finding MiMo,” the campaign challenges guests to utter a secret phrase that can yield one cocktail, with no purchase necessary. The MiMo area hopes to encourage new guests looking for something a little off the beaten path. If you’re in Miami, the codeword is “Where’s Dory.” You heard it here first.
Conclusion: May 2021: Restaurant Good News Roundup
There are still many problems to overcome in the face of the pandemic, but things are slowly getting a little better every day. Restaurants who have survived are thankful for their good fortune, which is where you come in. Go out to dinner tonight or order in with the people you love (or even just like). Make sure you tip while you’re at it because the workers out there are overworked and hustling to make ends meet. Did we miss anything in our May 2021: Restaurant Good News Roundup? We’d love to hear your story. Let us know in the comments section below.
About the Author
Syd is a content marketing specialist, which are fancy words for writing pretty to tell a good story. He likes writing things about food, drinks, and music. He’s a musician himself, a father of two, and loves his wife a whole lot.