Congress Dashes Chances of Restarting the Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Excluded from the appropriation bills that will likely pass to keep the government funded. A window for resurrecting the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) slid shut on Tuesday when a provision for replenishing the industry-focused aid program was excluded from the final version of the appropriations package that will fund the federal government after Friday. Congress was facing a March 11 deadline to appropriate more money to keep the government running. Because of the scope and focus of the various legislative measures that renew the federal budget, the occasion was seen as an opportunity to provide more money for the RRF, which ran through its initial allotment of $28.6 billion in less than three weeks. About 177,000 would-be recipients were left empty-handed. But the program’s administrator, the U.S. Small Business administration, said the requests would be processed in the order they were received if Congress allocated more money for the fund. The industry has mounted an intense effort since then to convince Congress that more direct aid was needed for the nation’s restaurants to survive.
N.Y.C. Restaurants Cheer the Lifting of an Indoor Vaccine Mandate
Ready to undo damage. Starting Monday, the city is no longer requiring patrons in restaurants, bars and gyms and other places indoors to show proof of vaccination, part of a rollback that includes lifting the mask requirement in public schools. No vaccine card? For diners in New York City restaurants starting this week, that is no problem. To mark the occasion, Rocco Sacramone is planning to put 300 balloons outside his restaurant, Trattoria L’incontro in Astoria, along with speakers that will play Frank Sinatra’s iconic “New York, New York.” “Spring is in the air, and it could not be a better time for us right now,” Mr. Sacramone said, adding: “We’re back!” New Yorkers will still be required to wear masks in a number of settings, including on the subway, and in taxis. Masks and vaccination are still required at Broadway shows through April 30, and individual business owners may continue to require either as they see fit. The city’s vaccine mandates for private employers and municipal workers remain in place.
Three Types of Bad Reviews
How to respond to them. Bad reviews can come from anywhere and stay on the internet for thousands of potential customers to see. Some reviews point out small, one-off incidents and others touch on systematic problems. To help ease some of the frustration that follows receiving a negative review, look at it this way. All negative reviews hold valuable information about how your restaurant can improve. Not responding to negative reviews tells potential customers that you don’t care about your reputation and your customers. Acknowledge peccadillos both large and small and thank the customer for their feedback. This shows that you have class and a willingness to improve and respect the customer’s time. Mitigate damage to your reputation by responding to reviews with humility and gratitude. Sometimes a negative review comes completely out of left field. It might seem too picky, unfair, or fake. You can petition to have reviews that violate community guidelines expunged. Visit the “help” section of the review site in question to learn more about how to remove these types of reviews. Don’t respond to these them until you’ve learned whether the site will remove the review.
Practical Restaurant Marketing Inspiration
In 2022. The modern restaurant has a lot of competition, including other local restaurants, franchises, and the biggest of national chains. To stand out and get more customers means focusing more on marketing. It’s easy to say you need to work harder on your marketing strategies, but aside from the vague generalizations that are all too common, how do you ensure those strategies are practical? If you’re looking for ways to up your restaurant marketing game, here are the practical steps you should be taking in 2022. Get them right, and footfall should grow, and your sales might be a marked improvement on previous years. Get the Basics Right – It’s likely you already have some understanding of the basics. Having a website, learning even a little about search engine optimization (SEO), and filling out your Google My Business (GMB) template should all be something you already have in place. If not, then your first step is to get set up.
McDonalds and Starbucks Temporarily to Close Units in Russia
Over Ukraine attack. McDonalds and Starbucks on Tuesday said they would temporarily close locations in Russia as a growing number of U.S. companies take steps to cease investment in the nation in the aftermath of its invasion of Ukraine. Earlier in the day, KFC owner Yum Brands said it would pause development and redirect profits from the country toward humanitarian efforts as it assesses its options in the country. By the end of the day, it too said it would close company-operated KFC locations there and that it would suspend Pizza Hut operations there. Starbucks also said it would temporarily close its restaurants in Russia. “The conflict in Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis in Europe has caused unspeakable suffering to innocent people,” McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski said in a message to employees and franchisees on Tuesday. “As a system, we join the world in condemning aggression and violence and praying for peace.”
Restaurants Sue Google
Alleging its online ordering system is deceptive. A Florida restaurant operator is suing Google over its online ordering system, alleging that the tech giant fielded orders for restaurants without their permission. The class-action lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of Left-Field Holdings, which operates six Lime Fresh Mexican Grill locations in the Miami area. The complaint accuses Google of violating the restaurants’ intellectual property rights and misleading customers by setting up an unauthorized digital storefront for Lime Fresh. According to the complaint: Starting in 2019, Google changed the way restaurants appeared in its search engine. When a person searched for a restaurant, Google would display a box with information about the restaurant as well as a prominent blue button that said, “Order Online.” That button led to an ordering interface featuring the restaurant’s name. There, customers could place an order, which Google would route to a third-party delivery company that the restaurant partnered with. The order would then be sent to the restaurant as if it had originated with the delivery provider.
Philly Quietly Added Surprise Fees and ‘Burdensome’ Rules
For restaurant streeteries. Philadelphia city officials quietly released regulations governing the city’s new streetery law after months of anticipation, and some restaurant owners say the proposed red tape could spell doomsday for outdoor dining across the city. Many restaurant owners realized new rules passed by City Council in December would require them to clean up access-blocking patio structures and get designs approved by the city for outdoor dining structures built over parking spaces. But in implementing that law, Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration is adding new regulations that create significant and unexpected hurdles for restaurateurs still struggling to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurants would be required to pay a $2,200 annual license fee — on top of a $200 application fee.
Restaurants Learned the Wrong Pandemic Lessons
Are we stuck with QR codes forever? If you want a sign that Americans are done with the pandemic, you could rummage around for a poll. Such as this one, which suggests that 70 percent of the country thinks it’s time to “get on with our lives.” Or this, in which even more people say they’re burned-out by COVID-19. Or this. Or this. But really, here’s all you need to do: Go look inside your favorite restaurant. Yes, the coronavirus is still killing nearly 2,000 people a day, and another variant is more a question of when than if. But the post-Omicron sigh of relief has been a godsend for the country’s beleaguered bars and restaurants. By some measures, Americans appear to be more comfortable eating out now than at any other time since March 2020. At various points in the past two weeks, reservations on OpenTable have outpaced even pre-pandemic levels. Chez Panisse, in Berkeley, California, perhaps the country’s most famous fine-dining spot, announced last week that it would finally reopen its dining room after two years of hyper-cautiousness. At the same moment, blue cities such as New York and Chicago, among the last holdouts for widespread safety restrictions, are even dropping their vaccine requirements to dine out.
Did You Know?
Couple finds pearl that could be worth thousands in clam at NJ restaurant. Michael Spressler recently stopped by one of his favorite restaurants to enjoy one of his go-to appetizers, but he walked away with something a lot more valuable: a pearl that could be worth thousands of dollars. The New Jersey resident and his wife Maria have been going to The Lobster House Restaurant in Cape May, New Jersey, for 34 years, but their last visit to the local hot spot over President’s’ Day weekend was unlike any other. After ordering a dozen clams on the half shell, Spressler proceeded to chow down. It wasn’t until he was almost finished eating that he noticed something unusual in one of the clams.
Full smoking ban could cost thousands of AC casino jobs. A smoking ban in Atlantic City casinos could cause a loss of up to 2,500 jobs and have a significant economic impact on New Jersey, according to a new analysis by Spectrum Gaming Group, an independent research and professional services firm. The report, commissioned by the Casino Association of New Jersey, concludes that approximately 10% of the Atlantic City workforce is at risk if a smoking ban were to be enacted, resulting in the potential loss of between 1,000 and 2,500 jobs. The report also said there would be a substantial decline of up to 10.9% in gaming revenue, up to $93 million in non-gaming revenue, and a loss of between $17.2 million and $44 million for the State of New Jersey and Atlantic City in tax revenue.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Alert
REGIONAL RESTAURANT COMPANIES
ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR NEW LOCATIONS FOR IMMEDIATE EXPANSION!
Considering the sale of your existing restaurant (including land, building and liquor license)? Call Bielat Santore & Company first. The restaurant companies we are currently working with are internally funded, have established banking relationships, are corporately managed and can move expeditiously toward closing on the right locations.
Contact Richard Santore, 732.531-4200 for a free personal consultation.
We invite you to visit our website, where you will find all our current listing inventory, a library of helpful industry resources and a collection of client testimonials expressing their assessments on our work and our service within the restaurant industry.
A voice for our industry. If you are finding these weekly bulletins informative and beneficial during this pandemic, we kindly ask that you write a brief Google review providing a vote of your appreciation. Simply Google “Bielat Santore & Company” and when the company name appears click the button on the right to write your review or; if you don’t use Gmail, go to Google Maps, type “Bielat Santore & Company” – Allenhurst, NJ into Google Maps; scroll down and you will see an option to leave a review.