May 2020: Restaurant Good News Roundup
As if the pandemic wasn’t distressing enough, now we can add unseasonable cold snaps, and murder hornets into our news cycle. But don’t let that darkness in, because there’s always a bright side of life. On the pandemic front, researchers believe that once you have the coronavirus, you can’t catch it again, which is especially promising news as many states in the U.S. re-open for business in May. We’ve spent the weekend celebrating our mothers, so let’s take a look at the silver linings that bring a little sunshine into our days in our May 2020: Restaurant Good News Roundup.
Since the pandemic shifted from threat to reality, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) has worked to protect the industry. Partnering with Guy Fieri, the NRA put together the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund, which is still running as of this writing and has already raised 20 million dollars. Alongside the LEE Initiative, these were two of the earliest programs developed to help restaurant staff in need of assistance. The NRA recently lobbied for an additional $240 billion in recovery funds to help restaurants in need of a lifeline.
Beyond financial bailouts for the industry at large, there are plenty of organizations looking to help out in different ways. Tech companies like Bento Box are establishing relief funds campaigns, Netflix is donating $1 million to restaurant workers, and some restaurant tech companies are offering their expertise or free software to help optimize off-premise traffic, among other things. A recent addition to this list is The Power of 10 campaign, which was designed to help re-employ laid off restaurant workers.
Many people long for a return to some sense of normalcy, which has led to some novel solutions. That longing to get back into restaurants has manifested as free audio to play with your off-premise orders at home to emulate the sound of a dine-in experience. More importantly, that drive to social has led to one enterprising Detroit man developing his restaurant for squirrels. And if there is one sure-fire way to cure your blues, it’s a cute animal video.
Socially Distant Dining
One primary element of our new normal is diminished capacity for in-house traffic to restaurants. That’s a problem for many restaurateurs, who operate on a narrow margin, limiting their potential for growth. Fortunately, there are enterprising sorts out there looking for innovative solutions. The Dutch restaurant Mediamatic ETEN recently produced greenhouse dining options, isolated spaces for people to enjoy a meal while remaining socially distant.
Our oldest neighbors and family members have struggled throughout the pandemic, not just to stay safe, but to keep sane. With the coronavirus having a harder impact on the 60+ community than younger folks, seniors have been significantly more isolated than they were before. A California initiative looks to help out, though, by paying restaurants to deliver to the elderly. The idea is that restaurants will be reimbursed for their work through emergency funding, as the state has partnered with FEMA to help out those in need.
Serve the Servants
It never gets old to write about folks helping one another, and that has very much been the case since the pandemic has started. You’ve likely seen a video of the applause during a shift change, which is a nice way to show support to our first line of defense against a deadly viral outbreak. A lot of companies from O’Charley’s to McDonald’s, though, have made concerted efforts to support our first responders by donating pro bono meals to those out helping fight the good fight. It’s an incredible display of charity and compassion to workers putting themselves in harm’s way to help out.
Thanks for joining us for our May 2020: Restaurant Good News Roundup! The great thing about writing this article is that we almost certainly missed something. That’s fantastic because we want to hear your good news. Have anything exceptional going on? Tell us! We want to know as soon as possible. Contact us either by email or through our comments section and let us know your story! We’d love to share the good news.
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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.