It’s time to serve those who serve us.
Restaurant owners facing potential extinction.
By now I’m sure you’re all tired of being constantly bombarded with the near apocalyptic stories of a world desperate to contain the spread of COVID-19. A world slowly beginning to resemble the dystopian societies of Hollywood movies and Orwellian novels.
As our government shuts down new facets of our acquired lifestyle on a seemingly hourly basis, a silent faction of our society waits with bated breath to see what will become of them.
You know them better than you think.
They’ve been present to celebrate weddings, birthdays, promotions, first dates, and engagements. They are the men and women of the hospitality industry, and they need your help now, more than ever.
It’s a rather simple concept to grasp, until it isn’t. As the virus proliferates the only solution is for individuals to distance themselves from others, for a significant period of time. This not only helps slow the spread of the virus but prevents the health care system from being overrun and ultimately placed in a situation to decide who live and who dies based on available care. For members of the industry these measures, although absolutely necessary to survival in the physical realm, the isolation required is a death sentence for the businesses it will impact.
Restaurants operate on notoriously low margins. How low?
According to a recent article by Eater, as little as 1.8%, in the best of times.
The model provided by the article, which can be read here, is a popular, independently owned establishment, that exemplifies progressive thinking in an industry often devoid of such perspectives.
While Americans adjust to working from home and grapple with the realities of the “new normal.” It is estimated that the 15.1 million Americans that work in the restaurant industry will be without work for an undetermined amount of time. That’s fifteen million plus Americans with little or no health care, living paycheck to paycheck. According to Eater, only 25 percent of industry workers work in localities with mandated paid sick leave.
With the constant influx of customers relied on to pay their bills and their staffs at a standstill, operators are forced to pitch gift cards, serving essentially as short term loans, force their businesses to adapt to-go oriented models, or to work with delivery services such as Uber eats, and Grub Hub, giving up a precious percentages, often as high as 25%, up front. These measures have been referred to as “fools gold,” buy chef David Chang, of the Momofuku restaurant group, as they require resources that restaurants simply don’t have, in order to make the pivot.
The loss of revenue will be dire for most businesses, and their employees, without immediate relief from the state and federal levels of government.
CALL TO ACTION
With the government mulling its options, its options for a bail out of multiple industries, it is time to put the full force of our voices to request members of the United States Senate, with whom the current measures of the economic stimulus are currently being debated, take immediate and decisive action to protect all Americans, especially those in the restaurant and hospitality industries.
Click here to contact members of the United States Senate.
In the mean time it is crucial to continue to support the takeout, delivery and to go methods of your local restaurants, as safely as possible.