The restaurant industry has changed. Maybe for good, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. The crisis is forcing restaurants to rethink everything, from technology solutions, to operating models, and employee pay and benefits. Industry leaders are capitalizing on this moment of upheaval to push for permanent change to the cultural norms in restaurant operations and policies.
You can read more about that story below, as well as other hospitality headlines from last week’s news cycle. Highlights include a New York Times story about the impossible position restaurants have been put in, new developments in technology trends and Covid-19 protocols, and Black Restaurant Month.
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- David Chang and Other Chefs Say Now is the Time to Fix the Restaurant Industry’s Long-standing Inequities [Fast Company]
World renowned Chefs and Avero partners, David Chang of Momofuku and Tom Colicchio of Union Square Hospitality Group, are supporting a “Safe and Just Reopening Plan” to eliminate subminimum wages in New York and other hardships industry workers face.
- The Nation Wanted to Eat Out Again. Everyone Has Paid the Price. [The New York Times]
Restaurants face pressure to reopen to keep the economy going despite the high percentage of infections linked to bars and restaurants. Most are restricted to 50% capacity indoors, limiting their ability to generate income, or qualify for PPP loans. Workers have heightened risk for infection and struggle to access affordable, timely testing.
- Florida Restaurant Workers Can Get Back to Work Sooner After Covid-19 Infections [Newsweek]
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis updated a previous order requiring two negative tests before restaurant employees can return to work after testing positive. Now, restaurants have sole responsibility for screening employees for symptoms and allowing them to work.
- Boston Black Restaurant Month Kicks Off in August [Boston.com]
The Boston Black Hospitality Coalition is celebrating National Black Business Month by challenging customers to patronize at least four Black-owned restaurants in August. The initiative aims to help preserve Black-owned restaurants and bars in the area, which have been disproportionally affected by Covid-19.
- Digital Restaurant Menus Will Be Around Long After the Pandemic Ends [Restaurant Technology News]
Digital menus are on the rise. The pandemic has increased consumer demand for reduced touchpoints inhouse as well as driving an increase in online ordering. WhatToOrder founder explains the many reasons why the digital menu trend will not disappear post-pandemic.
- Automation Proves to be a Necessity for Restaurants During COVID [Modern Restaurant Management]
A return to normal once the pandemic crisis is over is unlikely for restaurants who have turned to technology solutions like kiosks, mobile apps, and no-contact payments. Restaurants and customers will cling to convenient advances made during this time.
- Covid-19 Keeping you from SF? These SF restaurants come to a corner you. [The Mercury News]
Popular San Francisco restaurants have morphed into street food vendors, satellite kitchens, and ghost kitchens in an effort to survive the financial crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
- One Mask Rule Most New Yorkers Ignore [The New York Times]
The NY health department instructs restaurants to encourage customers to wear face coverings while dining but doesn’t require them. Restaurants are stuck in the middle between wanting to promote safe dining, but fearful of doing anything that may keep diners away, including the anti-mask crowd.
- Food Distributors, Restaurants, Reinvent Business Models in a Scramble to Survive [Restaurant Dive]
Disruptions in the restaurant industry due to Covid-19 are reverberating in the foodservice industry. Supply chains have partnered with grocery stores, non-profits, and restaurants with creative solutions to help keep both sides of the food ecosystem afloat.