Aid to Restaurants, Businesses Faces Senate Headwinds
It’s an uphill climb. The Senate may soon test the bipartisan limits on pandemic spending as Democratic leaders prepare to bring a small-business aid package to the floor containing provisions that have independently enjoyed support from both parties. But the collective $48 billion package faces strong headwinds in an inflation-fueled election-year environment where Republicans are loath to support any new federal spending that isn’t fully offset. That was the GOP demand on a separate $10 billion bill to appropriate more money for COVID-19 therapeutics, testing and vaccines, which has stalled amid a dispute over a pandemic-related border policy that could snag the small-business package too. The business aid package, led by Small Business Chair Benjamin L. Cardin, D-Md., and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., has only $5 billion in offsets from unspent funds in the now-lapsed Paycheck Protection Program; barely one-tenth of the total spending. That program offered small businesses forgivable loans to keep workers on the payroll during shutdowns.
New Bills Mean Rising Costs for Restaurant Owners
Ban on plastics proves expensive. Two major environmental bills are about to take effect in New Jersey, causing major changes in the way restaurants operate. A ban on plastic bags and foam containers and new regulations for takeout containers and bottles have forced restaurant owners to purchase more expensive, environmentally friendly products. While many restaurant owners embrace the change as an essential step for the environment, they also have some concerns. Restaurants are still foundering from low profits during COVID, high food prices, labor shortages and inflation. “The only bad thing about it is the timing,” said Stephen Chrisomalis, owner of Steve’s Burgers in Garfield and North Bergen. The ban on plastic bags begins on May 4. The bill states that food service businesses, retail stores and grocery stores will not be able to give out or sell single-use plastic bags or polystyrene foam containers. Paper bags are allowed, except in grocery stores larger than 2,500 square feet. Reusable bags made out of fabric, hemp, nylon and other washable fabrics can be given out or sold. By Nov. 4, plastic straws will be provided only if a customer asks for one.
The Government Wants to Make it Harder
For businesses to avoid (or disrupt) unions. On the heels of union-busting accusations against large companies like Starbucks and Amazon, the National Labor Relations Board is considering changes that would make it more difficult for companies to avoid or disrupt union activity. NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo suggested on April 13 a return to the Joy Silk doctrine, which would ask employers to voluntarily recognize employee-formed unions without a formal election needed. Abruzzo explained the would-be changed in a Twitter thread this week. The precedence stems from the 1949 Joy Silk Mills case which required an employer to recognize a union “that showed evidence of majority support” without a formal election needed. This rule was followed until it was abandoned in the 1970s and this week Abruzzo filed a brief to the board asking them to reinstate it, among other requests for change.
Six Restaurant Tech Solutions
To combat 2022’s challenges. From QR codes to advanced mobile apps and robots, restaurants are planning to adopt more technology within their operations in the year ahead. A few decades ago, full-service restaurant managers and owners often greeted customers at the door, shaking their hands and checking reservations in a book at the front desk. But today, many restaurants are quickly phasing out these analog operations due to ongoing labor pressure. So what’s filling the gap left behind by these human interactions? For a growing number of restaurants, it’s robots, QR codes and self-order kiosks. But interest in labor light or labor-free solutions appears to eclipse actual implementation among operators. Ninety-one percent of restaurants believe automation geared toward inventory would be a key use case, and 62% feel it would help better manage online, dine-in and delivery orders, according to Square’s Future of Restaurants: 2022 report. Despite this sentiment, only 36% of these respondents have upgraded their business technology in the last year.
Mass. Restaurants Lose COVID Ruling
In first State High Court Decision. The Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court on Thursday joined federal appeals courts in ruling against policyholders in a COVID-19 business interruption case, becoming the first state high court to decide the issue. The unanimous ruling was in a case filed by three restaurants in Boston and Cambridge under common ownership against Strathmore Insurance Co., a unit of Greater New York Mutual Insurance Co., according to the ruling in Verveine Corp. et. al v. Strathmore Insurance Co. et al. The ruling affirms a trial court decision. The Massachusetts Supreme Court considered the case without first waiting for a state appeals court ruling on the issue. The Massachusetts Judicial Supreme Court on Thursday joined federal appeals courts in ruling against policyholders in a COVID-19 business interruption case, becoming the first state high court to decide the issue. The unanimous ruling was in a case filed by three restaurants in Boston and Cambridge under common ownership against Strathmore Insurance Co., a unit of Greater New York Mutual Insurance Co., according to the ruling in Verveine Corp. et. al v. Strathmore Insurance Co. et al. The ruling affirms a trial court decision. The Massachusetts Supreme Court considered the case without first waiting for a state appeals court ruling on the issue.
9 Secrets Sushi Restaurants Don’t Want You to Know
Know what you’re eating. Going out for sushi can be a real treat. Not only are sashimi, nigiri, oshizushi, and other types of sushi delicious, but it’s also one of those types of foods that most of us really can’t make at home. Or shouldn’t, at any rate, given the challenge of proper sushi preparation and the health risks that can come with consuming certain raw ingredients. But treat though it may be, not all sushi served at all sushi restaurants is of the same quality, so you should know a bit about what’s happening behind the counter before you order. Or pay. From when to go to a sushi restaurant (and when not to) and what types of fish are always a good choice or never a good bet, we have done some digging into a few of the fishier aspects of the cuisine. Before you have a seat and ask the chef “Osusume wa nan desu ka?” (What’s your recommendation?) go ahead and read these secrets sushi restaurants don’t want you to know. Plus, check out The Best Sushi in Every State.
State Officials considering whether to allow restaurants to sell. State officials are reportedly considering whether to allow New York pizzerias and other restaurants to sell weed-infused foods, according to the New York Post. Aaron Ghitelman, a spokesperson for the New York Office of Cannabis Management, tells the publication that there’s been discussions — but no confirmed regulation or policy — around state food businesses applying for licenses that would allow them to sell infused foods to adult customers. Nothing is set in stone, but it’s already that clear weed sales would be subject to restrictions. Based on current guidelines, weed-infused foods could only be sold to customers over the age of 21, while owners who obtain a license to sell cannabis would be prohibited from also having a liquor license, according to the Post. Legal marijuana sales kicked off in New Jersey last week, but a representative for the National Cannabis Industry Association tells the Post that the organization isn’t aware of any state that has allowed food businesses to apply for weed-infused licenses. New York legalized recreational marijuana in 2021, and sales are slated to begin at local dispensaries later this year.
Did You Know?
Turning Point Restaurants Announces First Franchise Agreement. Turning Point Restaurants, the award-winning breakfast, brunch and lunch concept, has announced its first franchise agreement. The brand’s first franchise location will open in May, just four months after the brand launched its franchise opportunity. Dave T. Vazquez and Eric Brandow of RNF LLC are expanding Turning Point’s footprint in Pennsylvania, with plans to open a location in Upper Dublin Township. The newest restaurant will mark 22 total Turning Point locations across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
The Great Restaurant Resignation or the Great Restaurant Reshuffle? The ongoing labor crisis is so severe it has earned a lofty title—“the Great Resignation.” And this “I-Quit” era has been thoroughly inhospitable to the hospitality industry. In September, leisure and hospitality’s 6.4 percent quit rate was more than double the national average. The tables have turned on restaurants: At the beginning of the pandemic, many team members were laid off or furloughed when dining rooms closed—even temporarily. Two years later, many employees still feel the sting of being let go and have moved on to secure work in other industries or jumped ship for higher pay and/or better incentives. However, this isn’t really a resignation, it’s more of a Great Reshuffle as many workers hop from position to position seeking greater job flexibility and more lucrative benefits.
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Alert
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