SBA Will Redistribute Remaining $180 Million to Restaurants in Need
The agency is working on a plan to redistribute the Restaurant Revitalization leftover funds. Following the release of a report that uncovered $180 million in unobligated funds left over from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, the U.S. Small Business Administration confirmed with Nation’s Restaurant News that the SBA is working with the Justice Department on a plan to award the rest of the funds. “The SBA plans to award the remaining funds and is working closely with the Department of Justice to resolve evolving legal decisions involving RRF and formulate a plan on how to distribute any unobligated funds,” the SBA told Nation’s Restaurant News in an emailed statement. “The funding provided by the American Rescue Plan’s Restaurant Revitalization Fund has helped more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage business owners get back on their feet and survive the pandemic, and the SBA remains committed to providing relief and assistance in any way possible.” The SBA declined to provide more information on what will happen if the $180 million is not redistributed by the end of the year. The agency also does not have further information on whether restaurants that were approved for funding but did not receive it will be first in line to receive a portion of the $180 million leftover funds. Of the original $28.6 billion that was appropriated for the restaurant industry, 88% of applicants (250,738 businesses) were deemed eligible, but only 100,527 (40%) of those eligible applicants received funding. The 150,166 approved but unfunded applicants requested $41.2 billion in funding in total in 2021.
NJBIA Urges Help for Businesses at Hearing
On $1.4B in unspent federal aid. NJBIA Chief Government Affairs Officer Chrissy Buteas went to bat for the business community on Tuesday at a public hearing on how New Jersey should spend the remaining $1.4 billion in federal COVID-19 relief aid it received under the American Rescue Plan Act. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed into law by President Joe Biden in March of 2021, provided a total $1.9 trillion in COVID-19 relief to states. New Jersey’s share of ARPA was more than $6 billion, but the state has yet to allocate or disperse nearly 25% of its federal aid. “We see this as a transformative opportunity … that will create a stronger New Jersey and make us more competitive with surrounding states, the United States and the international economy in light of rising inflation, supply chain challenges and workforce challenges,” Buteas said during the online public hearing organized by the governor’s office to gather public input on how to spend the ARPA funds. “This is an opportunity for the state to really invest in some critical needs that the state requires moving forward,” Buteas said. New Jersey businesses were hit with a $300 million unemployment insurance tax increase on July 1, at the start of the FY23 budget year, to help replenish the UI trust fund, which paid out record jobless claims in the early months of the pandemic after the state ordered nonessential businesses to close. Another tax increase of more than $300 million is scheduled to take effect in FY24.
Restaurants Start Getting Some Relief on Inflation
Food costs remain historically high – but looking like they have peaked. Food cost inflation has hit restaurants a lot harder than they thought it would, which is saying something for an industry that went into 2022 expecting their cost of goods sold to rise at least by high single digits. But industry executives on earnings calls this past week indicated that things were getting better. Chicken prices soared so much at Noodles & Company this spring that the company had to institute a surcharge for customers that added chicken to their various noodle dishes, which amounts to about half of its customers. But those prices are down 20% since their peak. “The worst is behind us in terms of the market volatility,” Noodles CFO Carl Lukach told investors this week. For the company, the easing prices of chicken, coupled with some improvements in processing, could improve the chain’s cost of goods sold, or COGS, by 150 basis points by the end of the year.
New Jersey Outdoor Dining to be Extended Till November 2024
Governor Phil Murphy will sign new legislation. A change from the pandemic is here to stay in New Jersey. Governor Phil Murphy will sign new legislation to extend outdoor dining for the foreseeable future. Great news for restaurants like Vesta Wood Fired in East Rutherford. The restaurant has offered outdoor dining in a large tent in the parking lot since the beginning of the pandemic. The bill that allowed outdoor dining originally is set to expire on November 30, but this new bill extends that time to the end of November 2024. Governor Murphy is expected to sign the bill extension this afternoon. While some towns have dismantled outdoor dining, claiming the lost parking spaces have resulted in a loss in revenue for retailers. Some restaurant owners have said the program has helped them stay in business and that it makes for a much livelier downtown attracting people to the area. New Jersey State Senator Paul Sarlo says this might be the last extension of the outdoor program and for now, restaurants are embracing it.
The Impact of Inflation on Restaurant Buying and Selling
The increased value of restaurants is creating an optimistic outlook for the industry. In every area of life, things are getting more expensive. Gas, rent, and essentials from the grocery store have all skyrocketed in price. While the restaurant industry is no stranger to experiencing the side effects of inflation there is good news to report. Inflation is having a positive impact on the sale of restaurants. The value of restaurants being sold increased 51 percent for the first quarter of 2022, according to the latest BizBuySell Insight Report. Restaurants sold for a median price of $225,000 versus a low $149,000 in the prior-year period. The BizBuySell Insight Report is a nationally recognized economic indicator that tracks the sales and listing prices of small businesses across the United States. The report, which is produced by the online marketplaces of businesses for sale, includes data from more than 70 major U.S. markets and across 65 small business industries, including restaurants. A second indicator of the rising tide in restaurant value is the median revenue of restaurants reported as sold. In the first quarter of 2021, the BizBuySell Insight Report tracked revenue for sold restaurant transactions at a record $720,000, versus $600,000 for 2021. A 20 percent increase in revenue aligns with inflationary pressure on pricing and accompanying sales increases. The financial gains in the restaurant industry are extraordinary, especially considering overall businesses are reporting slower gains. The median revenue of sold businesses dropped 5 percent during the first quarter, the report revealed.
Restaurant Report Shows How Consumer Behavior is Shifting
Post-pandemic. Near, a global SaaS leader in privacy-led data intelligence on people, places, and products today announced its The New World of Consumer Behavior: Restaurants 2022 report, which highlights significant shifts in consumer behavior from the onset of the pandemic to today. The report provides an outlook for the future of restaurant dining and outlines how restaurants can best respond to these consumer shifts. Consumer dining behaviors have shifted significantly since the onset of the pandemic. The restaurant industry was one of the most immediately and profoundly impacted industries, with restaurants forced to pivot when the pandemic hit to keep doors open. One of the report’s key findings is that there is no longer one single dining experience, and restaurants must adapt to the new range of options and conveniences that consumers have come to expect. Diners were surveyed across generational lines in order to discover dining habits, preferences, and loyalties. The survey results are combined with Near’s privacy-led human movement data—compliant-collected location data from mobile phones– to get a unique glimpse into dining patterns both at a macro level and also for specific regions and geographies.
Restaurants are the One Bright Hope
For post-pandemic New York. Our deeply troubled city saw two uplifting developments this week. Le Rock, a French-style brasserie, launched at a long-dark Rockefeller Center site, and deli legend Russ & Daughters reopened its cafe on the Lower East Side after a two-year shutdown. Welcome to our great eating-out renaissance that defies every dire forecast amid an unforgiving economic climate. If you say, “Whoa, they’re just restaurants,” then you’re out to lunch. Restaurants are the front line in the Big Apple’s struggle to arrest its slow slog into irreversible decay. They’re the city’s lifeblood. As crime and squalor spread, the joy of dining out is just the thing to mend our tattered social fabric and rekindle libidos that were put on lockdown. They’re the pulse that beats without interruption beneath the gloomy data about violence on the streets, trouble in our schools and a general exodus from the city. No other business has bounced back from COVID the way restaurants have. Offices are still just 41% physically occupied. The city’s premier hotel, The Four Seasons on East 57th Street, has yet to reopen. Empty storefronts — remember Barneys? — show there’s no leasing surge yet, no matter what retail brokers claim.
Did You Know?
Modern day treasure hunters: adding architectural history and sustainability. Today we are finding that many restaurant owners and interior designers are increasingly applying this sustainable aesthetic as a modern industrial chic décor. Take for example architect urologists, those who work in the field of architectural salvage who recycle and upcycle important historic building architectural pieces such as gargoyles, industrial lighting, crystal chandeliers, mantels and reclaimed items such as chicken wire glass and wrought iron gates, according to Jim DiGiacoma of Olde Good Things, the nation’s leading architectural salvage company with retail locations in New York, Los Angeles and Scranton, PA as well as a major online presence. Unlike demolition, architectural deconstruction requires finesse instead of shear force. Reusable items such as large stained-glass windows, marble fireplaces, large mirrors and intricate cabinetry can lose their value if they are damaged during the salvage process.
Most restaurant workers get paid sick time. It was 4:30 p.m. on a Friday in January 2020, and I was sitting on the exam table at a Center City urgent care. I had been sick for days — coughing, wheezing, high fever, and extreme exhaustion — and wasn’t getting any better. When the doctor came back with the results from a chest X-ray, she told me I had the worst lung infection she’d seen in her 20-year career. “Just take a few sick days,” she said. Between coughing and wheezing in an attempt to catch my breath, I told her I was a cook at a local restaurant, and that we didn’t have sick leave or paid time off. Or so I thought. It wasn’t until COVID-19 shut down all the restaurants in Philly in March 2020 that many service workers started to learn we had sick time. Most of my peers in the industry were unaware that we had all been racking up sick time — one hour for every 40 hours worked in the city of Philadelphia. These are legally mandated paid hours — at your regular hourly rate — for employers with 10 or more employees. (Employers with nine or fewer employees are only required to provide unpaid sick time.).
Bielat Santore & Company – Restaurant Industry Alert
MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ “NATIONAL FRANCHISE RESTAURANT” FOR SALE
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