Washington Citypaper: Four Strategies That Just Might Help Restaurants Make It Through Winter

Washington Citypaper: Four Strategies That Just Might Help Restaurants Make It Through Winter. “Nearly one in six U.S. restaurants have closed permanently or indefinitely six months into a public health crisis people initially hoped would only last weeks. That’s approximately 100,000 closures, according to the National Restaurant Association. The trade group’s survey-based report, released in mid-September, also found 40 percent of restaurant owners don’t think they’ll be in business in another six months without additional relief from the federal government.”

Freethink: Ghost Kitchens Are Saving Restaurants During the Pandemic

Freethink: Ghost Kitchens Are Saving Restaurants During the Pandemic. “Also known as ‘virtual kitchens’ or ‘cloud kitchens,’ these facilities have everything you’d find in a typical restaurant kitchen: stoves, walk-in refrigerators, skilled chefs, etc. What they don’t have, though, are waiters, tables, or even a dedicated menu — these kitchens are just for making and delivering to-go orders for outside restaurants.”

No cold beer, no flowers, and no one to park the car: A shadow economy hits the skids as restaurant suppliers lose their jobs (The Counter)

The Counter: No cold beer, no flowers, and no one to park the car: A shadow economy hits the skids as restaurant suppliers lose their jobs. “Eight million Americans are employed in restaurant-adjacent industries, from linen washers to accountants to exterminators. How are they coping now?”

Dezeen: Outdoor dining on New York City streets becomes permanent

Dezeen: Outdoor dining on New York City streets becomes permanent. “New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has made the Open Restaurants Program, which allows restaurants in the city to extend seating onto streets, sidewalks and public spaces, permanent following the coronavirus pandemic.”

New York Times: 9 of Every 10 Restaurants and Bars in N.Y.C. Can’t Pay Full Rent

New York Times: 9 of Every 10 Restaurants and Bars in N.Y.C. Can’t Pay Full Rent. “Nomad, a North African and Mediterranean restaurant in the East Village, shut down in March after the pandemic engulfed New York City, leaving its owner unable to pay the full $11,500 rent for months. After opening for outdoor dining in June, the owner, Mehenni Zebentout, has struggled to pay 70 to 80 percent of the rent. But he had to cut his staff from nine full-time employees to four part-time workers. And his landlord still wants Mr. Zebentout to pay what he owes from the spring.”

Slate: Hot Spots

Slate: Hot Spots. “Outdoor drinking and dining is currently the safest way for establishments to host guests during the pandemic. Accordingly, demand for heat lamps has risen sharply, even in the warm summer months. While July is typically the slowest month for the heat-lamp industry—yes, there’s an industry—this year it rivaled even the traditionally busiest months of the year, according to Alfresco Heating owner Eric Kahn, whose company is based in Novato, California. Some restaurants are purchasing heaters for the first time, suggesting that the new landscape of dining on sidewalks, streets, parking lots, and wherever else you can fit a table and a few feet of distance will be with us for a good while.”

New York Times: Unable to Pay Rent, Small Businesses Hope for a Deal With Their Landlord

New York Times: Unable to Pay Rent, Small Businesses Hope for a Deal With Their Landlord. “In March, when the Boston restaurateur Garrett Harker and his partners shut down their seven restaurants after Massachusetts issued lockdown orders, Mr. Harker assumed the closures would be painful but temporary. Six months later, three of Mr. Harker’s restaurants, including the flagship Eastern Standard — once described as the ‘perfect restaurant’ by The Boston Globe’s food critic — remain shuttered. Mr. Harker and his landlord for those three restaurants are in a standoff: He can’t afford to pay the six-figure arrears he has accrued while his restaurants remain shut, and the landlord, he said, has refused to grant a deferral or discount.”

New York Daily News: Tax, tip, COVID fee: Council passes bill letting struggling NYC eateries charge 10% extra to get back on their feet

New York Daily News: Tax, tip, COVID fee: Council passes bill letting struggling NYC eateries charge 10% extra to get back on their feet. “New York restaurants will be allowed to tack up to 10% onto their bills under a law passed by the City Council on Wednesday. The bill’s sponsor, Councilman Joe Borelli of Staten Island, says the fee will help struggling restaurateurs get back on their feet. The bill passed on a 46-2 vote.”

San Francisco Chronicle: ‘Extinction event for restaurants’ anticipated as federal loan money runs out

San Francisco Chronicle: ‘Extinction event for restaurants’ anticipated as federal loan money runs out. “Pim Techamuanvivit is trying to make the math work when it comes to using her PPP loan to keep her San Francisco restaurant Nari open, but it’s a struggle, and she feels time is running out. Techamuanvivit spent roughly 70% of her PPP fundingwithin a few weeks of receiving it this summer. It helped her make ends meet for a brief time, and ensured that dozens of her employees retained health insurance. But now more bills are on the horizon, no new revenue is coming in, and there is no clear timeline for when operations at Nari can return to normal.”

Washington Post: Facing unmasked diners and sick colleagues, restaurant workers worry about safety — and their livelihoods

Washington Post: Facing unmasked diners and sick colleagues, restaurant workers worry about safety — and their livelihoods. “Across the country, many hospitality workers are afraid to work right now in an industry that’s fighting for survival with limited resources, conflicting reopening guidance from government and a significant portion of the population that continues to think the coronavirus is no worse than the seasonal flu. The reopening of restaurants, as [Jennifer] Moreau’s example shows, has also further frayed the already-fraught relationship between worker and employer.”

Bloomberg: One-third of U.S. restaurants facing permanent closure, forecast says

Bloomberg: One-third of U.S. restaurants facing permanent closure, forecast says. “As many as 231,000 of the nation’s roughly 660,000 eateries will likely shut down this year, according to an estimate from restaurant consultancy Aaron Allen & Associates provided to Bloomberg News. This will bring the industry’s steady growth to a halt and mark the first time in two decades that U.S. restaurant counts don’t climb. Restaurants have already shed millions of jobs this year, economic data show.”

As Restaurants And Bars Reopen, Servers Worry They Could Catch Coronavirus: ‘There Are No Safety Nets For Me’ (Block Club Chicago)

Block Club Chicago: As Restaurants And Bars Reopen, Servers Worry They Could Catch Coronavirus: ‘There Are No Safety Nets For Me’. “The city entered Phase 3 of reopening from coronavirus on June 3, allowing restaurants to open for patio service with strict safety precautions. Bars and breweries can join them in reopening as of Wednesday. But obedience to these guidelines — requiring guests wear face masks when not eating and social distance — has been mixed, which has servers like Alicia Rottman concerned about returning to work.”

New York Times: Can Anyone Save New York’s Bars and Restaurants?

New York Times: Can Anyone Save New York’s Bars and Restaurants?. “I have worked in the restaurant industry for 41 years, as a server, a bartender and, for the past 22 years, an owner. We have weathered upheavals, 9/11, the downturn of 2008 and Hurricane Sandy. But the food and beverage service industry has been hit harder than almost any other in this pandemic, accounting for 60 percent of the jobs lost in March. Those are unprecedented numbers, and none of us has ever seen anything like the troubles looming on the horizon for our industry, particularly for smaller, independent owners like me.”

BuzzFeed News: Grubhub Collected Record Fees From Restaurants Struggling To Stay Alive During The Pandemic

BuzzFeed News: Grubhub Collected Record Fees From Restaurants Struggling To Stay Alive During The Pandemic. “Restaurant owners have long complained that fees charged by ordering platforms like Grubhub, often ranging from 15% to 30%, make orders less profitable, and sometimes unprofitable — but businesses have no choice but to use them if they want to retain customers. They also discovered Grubhub was secretly buying up thousands of restaurant domain names and using them to build shadow websites that competed with pages operated by restaurants. Now, with dining rooms closed and lockdowns still in effect, takeout orders facilitated by platforms like Gruhub have become a crucial source of business.”