Food Why Restaurants Got Political
The one thing you should never do while dining out, according to servers
As many states ease their social distancing restrictions, restaurants are able to open to dine-in guests again. Some people are so eager to get the restaurant experience they've been missing that they're waiting hours for a table. Diners should be especially patient with servers during this period of adjustment — and there's one behavior in particular that you should avoid. 25 Secrets to Being the Best Party Guest Ever While a server’s top priority is to make sure you’re having a pleasant night out, there are certain things guests do that make their lives more difficult.
The weekend of March 15, the restaurant industry as we know it fell off a cliff.
Almost overnight, restaurants across the country closed their doors. Millions of hospitality teams were laid off, and workers found themselves without a way to earn a living at home or promises of jobs to return to. In this unprecedented crisis, it became clear that lawmakers did not realize what was really at stake: The risk of structural unemployment, which could trigger a depression, and the loss of independent restaurants that are core to our cultural fabric. Case in point: While two-thirds of restaurants are owned independently, only large chains, many of which have access to public markets for capital, were invited to Washington to participate in drafting the third relief bill negotiations. Airlines had also already negotiated their own dedicated sections in what would become the CARES Act, despite the fact that they employ far less people than the 11 million in the restaurant industry, the second-largest private employer in the country. It was a tragic irony: We are an intensely regulated industry, but the government was not providing us with a seat at the table.
Opening America: State-by-state guide to coronavirus reopening
At TPG, we paused traveling to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Local and federal governments around the globe are now debating the appropriate levels of isolation and distancing. Before booking that next trip, we recommend you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions. TPG is continuing to publish …As of May 20, all U.S. states are in some phase of reopening … some quickly, some very slowly. It runs the gamut from wide-open states like South Dakota to mostly off-limits states like Hawaii. Here’s a look at where states are on the reopening curve to help you decide how to plan the rest of 2020’s travel possibilities.
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On March 18, Adam Saper, a managing partner at Eataly, Sean Feeney, co-owner of Lilia and Misi, Dana Cowin, an editor and the founder of the podcast Speaking Broadly, and I sent out a call to arms to 30 New York owners of restaurants, from King to FIELDTRIP, to organize a virtual meeting. Every single person was on board, and we spent an hour on the phone drafting an eight-point plan, which we posted to change.org the next morning. It was that quick and that simple: Regardless of differences in our backgrounds and businesses, we were unified in that we needed to do something to wake the government up. We formed Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants (ROAR), a coalition focused on aid and advocacy for our industry and our people in New York since we stood to be hit the hardest in the nation by COVID-19 coupled with intense density and high cost of living. We successfully lobbied Governor Cuomo’s office for enhanced unemployment benefits for our teams, and we have raised over $1 million in a matter of weeks in partnership with Robin Hood for NYC restaurant workers to receive direct cash assistance. Ournow has over 160,000 signatures outlining relief measures at the state level, and over 350 restaurant owners have joined our coalition.
Damaged restaurants ask that focus be directed to Black Lives Matter movement
Many restaurants have recently been vandalized, burglarized and set on fire, but instead of asking for support in rebuilding, some are asking their communities to redirect focus elsewhere. Important African American Landmarks Across America In Minneapolis, where protests began after the death of George Floyd, Gandhi Mahal, an Indian restaurant steps from the burned 3rd Police Precinct, was heavily damaged. After thanking neighbors for trying to stand guard and protect the restaurant, the owner’s daughter, Hafsa, told people not to worry. She wrote, “As I am sitting next to my dad watching the news, I hear him say on the phone, ‘Let my building burn.
The next day, I got a call from chef and activist Tom Colicchio, who invited me to be part of the founding membership of the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC), which is focused on advocating for restaurants like mine at the national level. The IRC hired a prominent lobbyist, Thorn Run Partners, and hit the ground running to see what impact we could have on the CARES Act before it was signed into law. As late entrants to the negotiations, we fought hard for what we could. In those weeks before the CARES Act was signed into law about 50 restaurant owners from around the country joined twice daily video conferences, seven days a week. We continue to discuss everything from community support to policy changes. It’s a round-the-clock effort to increase awareness of both the current situation restaurants are facing and the terrifying reality we might come back to if we are unable to reopen and stay open through this pandemic.
Things You're Used to Seeing in Chain Restaurants That May Go Away
These beloved staples may soon be relics of the past.
As a collective, our first goal was to provide relief for our teams, and we feel proud to have effectively secured enhanced unemployment benefits at both the federal and state level. We have galvanized as individual businesses and together to raise a tremendous amount for direct cash relief for our team members who cannot work from home. Now, the looming question is whether we can reopen sustainably, and what the industry will look like on the other side.
We are currently in the middle of the tunnel with no clear emerging point in sight. I have had friends die from the virus, and I have friends who have already closed their operations permanently. The lights are flickering across most of our industry, and we are still writhing through a health crisis. The PPP loans, while recently improved, still do not align to the longer-term timing and extensive burden of costs required for restaurant recovery. Unlike other industries, we can’t just turn the lights back on and instantly operate as we did before.
Our community is simultaneously reckoning with another pandemic: The systemic racial injustice that has plagued our nation since its inception and from which our industry is not exempt. It is a critical moment in which our industry's leadership will be essential in collective efforts to dismantle racist practices and behaviors, in our businesses and beyond. The events of the past few months have changed the world, and that will require a full restart and reconception of our businesses. For the next twelve months, or until antibody testing and/or a vaccine are proliferated, guests will be afraid to dine out in proximity and convene in groups together, which is the very core of why restaurants exist and flourish. It’s hard to fathom how we can sustain a 50% or more drop in business required by social distancing for this length of time. So, while continuing to address the current devastation, we are beginning to look ahead cautiously as we work with the federal and state government to craft a restructuring plan that would enable our businesses to reopen sustainably and solvently so that we can re-employ as many people as possible. This work includes advocating for structural changes like new hiring strategies, enhanced investment in development, and new models for compensation to make this industry an equitable one for our Black, Indigenous and POC colleagues.
Every week feels like years, and days of the week don’t have as much significance as they once did. Through the reckoning, though, one thing is clear: We as an industry must rise to the occasion, unified. We are working harder than ever before to preserve the independent restaurants that anchor our communities, as well as the teams that bring them to life. For the first time we feel seen by the public and our lawmakers for what we are: The heart of the nation.
Camilla Marcus is the chef-owner ofin NYC, as well as one of the founders of the Independent Restaurant Coalition.
The highest calorie items at 30 top fast-food restaurants .
The highest calorie items at 30 top fast-food restaurants