How the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Let Restaurants Down
Advocacy group Independent Restaurant Coalition demands answers from SBA. The IRC has submitted a FOIA request for more details on applicant submissions, process of approval and whether or not they were considered priority applicants. Restaurant advocacy group, the Independent Restaurant Coalition, announced Thursday that they filed a Freedom of Information Act request in June demanding that the U.S. Small Business Administration release more information on what happened with the Restaurant Revitalization Fund after the SBA rescinded funding approval for an unknown number of applicants following multiple discrimination lawsuits. In June, the SBA was challenged in court by multiple lawsuits filed by white, male restaurant owners claiming discrimination because the government office prioritized women, veterans and minorities in the first 21 days that the Restaurant Revitalization Fund portal was opened. Eventually, the court claimed that the SBA’s prioritization on the basis of race and sex for the first 21 days of the program was unconstitutional and they had to halt payments to 2,965 previously approved RRF grant applicants.
Restaurants Find an Unlikely Ally in Their Fight to Keep Workers
Organized labor. The labor advocacy group One Fair Wage is aiming to discourage restaurant servers from leaving the industry by supplementing their wages with grants of up to $1,200. The union-affiliated nonprofit has created a $1 million pool to support the Wages Can’t Wait initiative. One Fair Wage says the beneficiaries are expected to join the group in calling for a nationwide end to the tip credit but did not indicate if agreeing to provide that support is a prerequisite for approval. One Fair Wage said the income supplement is necessary because of the low wages and tips that servers have received during the pandemic. But the timing suggests that it shares employers’ concerns about the exodus of workers from the industry. Virtually every measure of sales and traffic for the last few weeks shows full-service establishments pushing past the sales levels of 2019. The numbers indicate that the earning potential of servers is sharply on the rise.
The Best Jersey Shore Restaurants
With outdoor seating and waterfront views. The best kind of beach day ends with dinner and drinks outside — seated at a table on a roomy dock, deck, patio, sand bar, or rooftop at the type of restaurant with waterfront views that demand to be photographed. The pandemic led many restaurants in and around Philly to expand or, in some cases, construct outdoor dining areas. Down the shore, though, many restaurants prioritized al fresco dining long ago, as eating and drinking outside is a favorite pastime. Feeling a light breeze as you crack open fresh crabs and watch a cotton candy-colored sunset over the bay never gets old. Neither does sipping an ice-cold beer and breathing in ocean air from a seat at a beach bar, for that matter. From Long Beach Island to Cape May, you’ll find a lot of waterfront spots that are deeply casual, in addition to a few fancier places where you can pair a nice glass of champagne with fresh, local oysters.
Two Truths About Restaurant Profits
What is a realistic profit margin for a restaurant? Have you been searching for a magic number? Do you want to know where you stack up against the competition? Are you worried that you’re leaving money on the table, or are you just looking to make money for the first time? If you’re looking for the answer, allow me to explain two truths about restaurant profits and your restaurant’s potential. Truth number one: You can’t use industry averages to run your restaurant. Truth number two: Most independents are running their food cost and labor cost at least 10 to 23 percentage points above their targets. There is so much opportunity in the restaurant business when you put a budget together and understand your true targets. A 15 to 20 percent profit margin is obtainable and makes all the work you do worth it.
Menu Prices Keep Soaring
But grocers are raising prices, too. Restaurant menu prices continue to rise amid a host of labor challenges, but there are signs that the inflationary cycle is spreading to the industry’s primary competitor for consumers’ food dollar. Restaurant menu prices increased 0.7% on a month-to-month basis in June, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was the highest rate since well before the pandemic and continued an inflationary run as operators contend with a host of cost increases including labor, food and rent. On an annual basis, food-away-from-home prices rose 4.2% in June—far above the 0.9% food-at-home inflation. Fast-food restaurants have been raising their prices especially aggressively. They’re up 6.2% on an annual basis. Yet there is evidence that inflationary pressures are hitting grocers and other retailers that provide food consumers eat at home. Food-at-home inflation rose 0.8% in June from May. That was the highest rate since May 2020—when heavy demand led to price spikes at retailers across the country while restaurants were closed.
Restaurants, Food Retailers Head Indoors for Produce
Amid water shortages and food security concerns. From restaurant menus to grocery store aisles, food prices are climbing, and the outlook for rising prices and looming droughts means these trends will not vanish anytime soon. To hedge against growing threats to food security, shortages and inflation, vendors and restaurants are leaning into indoor farming– or farming methods that use machine-learning algorithms and proprietary software to create precise growing conditions. “Indoor farmers say it’s a more stable and secure food supply chain,” FOX Business’s Lydia Hu said on “Varney & Co.”. Indoor or vertical farming stacks rows of plants on top of each other under lights that simulate the sun with hydroponic methods that can produce 12 growing seasons compared with two growing seasons for a traditional farm. This summer’s anticipated heat and droughts have the demand for locally grown food reaching new levels. Bowery Farming, the country’s largest vertical farming company, can grow up to one hundred times more lettuce than compared to a traditional farm, according to Hu.
Which NYC Restaurants Pulled in Millions
Of pandemic aid? Some of the country’s most expensive tasting menu spots, most highly funded restaurant groups, and most ubiquitous chains — including Momofuku, Masa, and Panera Bread — were among the New York establishments receiving millions from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, the central U.S. lifeline to the devastated hospitality industry. The $28.6 billion fund, which is now depleted, also awarded grants to scores of smaller, cash strapped venues — but shut out nearly two-thirds of local applicants. Those are the chief takeaways from the Small Business Administration’s big Freedom of Information Act release last week, detailing which bars and restaurants received funding. The SBA received more than 27,000 applications from across New York State for $9.63 billion in funding; the agency was able to fulfill just under 9,800 of those requests, issuing $3.6 billion in grant money. Grants are designed to make up for a restaurant’s full pandemic losses, up to $5 million for a single venue, or up to $10 million for a restaurant group with fewer than 20 locations.
Did You Know?
Reopening restaurants can reduce energy costs with no upfront expense. The pandemic brought about many once-in-a-generation strategic decision moments for the restaurant industry: As dining rooms sat empty, focus abruptly shifted to bolstering drive thru and curbside pickup efforts, and now that people are back, finding labor for all positions is almost impossible. As a result, many restaurant operators keep putting off important maintenance and capital projects for their non-cooking systems and customer-facing interior spaces during the past year. Now that dining rooms are beginning to reopen, some realize their restaurants need extensive repairs, upgrades, and energy efficiency improvements. For example, depending on the brand’s operational model, refrigeration makes up 10 to 20 percent of a quick-service restaurant’s overall energy usage and costs, while HVAC can account for another 20 to 40 percent. Because cooking equipment generates a great deal of heat, cooling costs are always some of the biggest expenses that restaurants encounter. In general, quick serves use four to six times the overall electrical load per square foot as other commercial environments.
Teenagers surge back into the restaurant workforce. Here’s an illustration of the hiring crisis in action: According to a July 6 report from Snagajob, the term “labor shortage” was searched more in May 2021 than during any other month in Google’s history. Not a COVID-19-specific event, but the entire stretch of the search engine’s two-decade-plus existence. The industry added 194,300 jobs in June—nearly one in every four jobs created were in restaurants—per the Department of Labor. Even so, restaurants remained nearly 1.3 million workers below February 2020. In particular, jobs in the quick-service industry are 20 percent down compared to life before the virus, seeing 5 percent month-over-month growth and 3 percent year-over-year expansion. Sit-down restaurant jobs are 41 percent lower, with month-over-month numbers declining 13 percent. Year-over-year figures are up 11 percent from the COVID bottom.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Daily Alerts
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