July 2020: Restaurant Good News Roundup
Our long march through 2020 continues as we’ve reached the halfway point in the year, and things have remained just as challenging as before. Restaurants around the U.S. face unprecedented losses, with an expected $240B hit to total revenue by the end of the year. After quarantine restrictions were loosened around the country, a second wave of the virus has caused many states to reinstate their previous rules, again limiting the business potential to help curb further infections. These obstacles have made recovery and reopening an especially difficult goal, but with our July 2020: Restaurant Good News Roundup, we want to shine a light on the positive things that the restaurant industry has remained diligent, tenacious, and supportive of the community around them.
In spite of the projected losses, there are already some signs of recovery, from the enriched community culture found at some establishments, to the upcoming hiring spree that McDonald’s has embarked upon. Still, it goes without saying that the restaurant industry could use a helping hand right now. Fortunately, there are people out there looking to help.
Recently, a bipartisan bill to help inject emergency funds into struggling restaurants was proposed, and backed by the National Restaurant Association, and companies like Anheuser-Busch. Additionally, the Payroll Protection Program has been expanded to give businesses more control over how their money is spent. Known as the Payroll Protection Flexibility Act, the bill makes retroactive changes to the PPP that allow for more time and lower terms for repayment, giving restaurateurs a little more breathing room.
A Such Thing As A Free Lunch
There are a few recurring themes prevalent throughout the pandemic and subsequent shutdown, notably the number of ways that restaurants have helped the community around them, by offering free meals to essential workers. This month, Raising Cane’s is helping out with their “Cane’s in the Moment” initiative. Instead of food, Raising Cane’s employees are sewing and distributing free masks to people in need, to help keep them safe. Likewise, the Golden State Warriors have put together their Golden Giveback, a program designed to support California businesses that need a hand. Lastly, for workers displaced by the coronavirus, there are resources available around the country (and beyond) to help as well, proving again that we can get through this together better than apart.
Weird Social Distancing
Another theme that we keep seeing is the amazing and inventive ways that restaurants and the food industry have developed to encourage social distancing. A testament to our communal nature, these innovations have in the past materialized as bumper tables, pool noodle crowns, or individual greenhouse dining. This month is no different with creations like the Seis Foot Cooler, which is a six-foot-wide Dos Equis branded cooler that allows your company to sit the appropriate distance apart, or a Burger King Sombrero that also creates a literal barrier. Many places have implemented robots to do the work to help mitigate interpersonal contact, like this KFC in Moscow. It’s hard to imagine what might come next, but in lieu of the success of one of the 21 vaccines currently in development, it’s fun to see how people work to stay social at a distance.
Hold the (App)lause
There have been a few excellent apps developed to help out restaurateurs, from off-premise aggregators to virtual kiosks. Now the VirusSafePro app is here to help restaurateurs, their staff, and their guests to stay as safe as possible. The idea behind the app is that like a remote viewer app, operators have access to an array of resources to ensure that they perform sanitary functions as needed. Restaurateurs can use tools like geo-tagging to determine if required actions were taken and follow up accordingly. These protocols might show up in your online waitlisting tech soon, to help minimize contagion on-premise.
Restaurants Lend a Helping Hand
Protests have continued around the world today since late May to raise awareness of systemic injustice. Many restaurateurs have shown their support for marginalized groups by helping out where they can and rightfully so, as studies indicate that consumers value inclusivity from the brands that feed them. Some restaurant operations have used this time for self-reflection and how they can best attend to their internal practices. Others, like Brooklyn Restaurant, are providing healthy vegan meals to members of their community. In fact, many restaurants around the country are helping feed protestors with both healthy food and the continued sense that we are stronger together. For information on how you can help support minority businesses, follow the link.
As we close out our July 2020: Restaurant Good News Roundup, we look at a few cases of mystery donors working to do right by their favorite eateries. In mid-March, a restaurant in Nagoya, Japan was robbed, leaving the operation in dire straits until an unnamed donor chipped in with a lifeline. In addition to the mystery donation, guests lined up to help out the aggrieved restaurant owner, giving them the revenue they needed to get back on their feet.
That’s it for our July 2020: Restaurant Good News Roundup. We’ve scoured the internet to find the things that warm our hearts, that show people treating the restaurant industry as the community hub we believe it to be, and for the stories of restaurateurs giving back in their own times of need. It’s always possible that we missed something, and if we did let us know! Write to us in the comments below and let us know what we might’ve missed, so we can include in future editions.
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About the Author
Syd was 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. At home, like the rest of the world right now, he’s finding time to play with the kids and create art.