As the United States hits a new record of more than 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day, many businesses face a tough winter ahead. Restaurants and food service companies continue to suffer, with reports that in the first six months of the pandemic, one in six restaurants have “closed either permanently or long-term” – representing a total of 100,000 establishments nationwide. To help restaurants in need, large companies are stepping in, providing funding, information, and even simple pleas for help.
- While many businesses have been adversely affected by the pandemic, Black businesses have perhaps been hit hardest – with research showing 41 percent of Black-owned businesses have shuttered since February, compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses. To help combat this trend, PepsiCo has partnered with the National Urban League to create the Black Restaurant Accelerator. The program will help 500 Black-owned businesses over the next five years by providing $10 million in grants to current or aspiring Black restauranteurs.
- Many small companies continue to struggle with learning and implementing a number of new processes and protocols necessary to conduct a safe and healthy business, so Tork is stepping in to help. The professional hygiene products company is providing a number of new reports under its Reach for the Stars program aimed at educating restaurant managers on topics such as designing for safety, digital menus and payments as well as new options for expanding takeout.
- In an unexpected move from Burger King, it took to social media in the U.K. to ask customers to “Order from McDonald’s.” The fast food stalwart went on to encourage fans to also order from “KFC, Quick, O’Tacos, Domino’s Pizza, Subway, Eat Sushi, Pizza Del Arte…” signaling that purchasing meals from big and small restaurants can help keep them in business during these trying times. The post has already garnered more than 169,000 likes on Twitter.
A recent New York Times article posed the question, “If Restaurants Go, What Happens to Cities?” Indeed, restaurants are the lifeblood of many areas, acting as gathering places, cultural hubs and local employers. The pandemic continues to remind us how interconnected our world is, and as restaurants shutter their doors it impacts not only owners, employees and local communities, but the entire business ecosystem that touches them.