June 2021: Restaurant Good News Roundup
It seems like every month is two steps forward and one step back. As the world inches closer to mass vaccinations, the pandemic slowly recedes into the rearview mirror, in some places. India has recently experienced a surge in outbreaks, which in turn impacted their local restaurant industry delaying their recovery further. Still, the good news outweighs the bad. In the U.S., there is evidence that fewer restaurants closed than expected with the restaurant apocalypse overstated, while in the UK, restaurants received a recent surge in revenue. In our June 2021: Restaurant Good News Roundup, we examine the perseverance of the industry and the camaraderie of the larger community in pulling together to help restaurants through a tough time. Read on!
Restaurant Funds Revitalization
By late May, the restaurant revitalization fund in the U.S. looked grim. Fortunately, Congress stepped up to help rebuild the fund, a quick turnaround in a short period of time. Around the U.S., the National Restaurant Association (NRA) has urged states to offer grant programs, which so far has met with some success. As such, New York, a recent grant program started up to help fund small businesses –including restaurants– to regain their prominence.
Super Sizing the Minimum Wage
Conversations about a raise to the federal minimum wage have consumed the news cycle since the beginning of 2021, with advocates rallying for fair wages, with others concerned over the impact of a higher wage minimum on inflation. Fortunately, some major chains have stepped up to raise their own wages around the world. For example, McDonald’s recently increased their minimum wage to help further incentivize new hires in a challenging job market. Likewise, Chipotle raised its minimum wage to $15. While increasing wages are a challenge to restaurateurs, there are options to help operations flourish and help their burgeoning staff.
Not So Lazy Susans
Part of the reason this column was started in the first place was to identify the innovators in the restaurant industry who persevered in spite of the odds. While we were working to share the good news and inspire others to greater heights, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMMY) has actively worked to create an awards ceremony together to identify the best and brightest who endured great hardship in 2020. The impetus behind the competition is to showcase the hard work by restaurant industry professionals to excel in the face of great odds.
For the last several years, the chicken sandwich wars have heated up in the quick-service world and beyond. Largely articulated through restaurant social media, various brands have tried to one-up one another by offering up premium chicken sandwich experiences to their guests. In June, Burger King announced that they would directly compete with Chik-Fil-A by donating to LGBT charities, a counterpoint to years of controversy that the brand has endured. Irrespective of the political or financial motivations, Burger King has decided to put its money where its mouth is and help out marginalized communities by donating to the Human Rights Campaign, an organization founded to help people in need.
Serving Up Fairness
The march for social equity moves ever forward. Within the last month, the restaurant industry has identified a lack of diversity at the executive level. While there haven’t been immediate changes, with this acknowledgment the industry has committed to ameliorating this dearth of potential insight. Meanwhile, in the U.S. the Chamber of Commerce celebrates the passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which seeks to protect pregnant workers. While social equity is slow, it’s steady.
Vaccinations and Restaurants
Several organizations have united to both revitalize the economy post-pandemic while continuing the efforts to increase vaccination rates. Earlier this month, Anheuser-Busch offered up a unique deal: prove your vaccination and you get a free beer. The idea is simple: get U.S. citizens up to the 70% vaccination needed to reach herd immunity, and after taking a few steps, you can get a free drink on them. Elsewhere, to help encourage people to go out to restaurants, Coca-Cola has also offered to buy everyone a free drink to help entice them. Guests needed only sign up online to register for a free drink.
June 2021: Restaurant Good News Roundup Conclusion
Slowly, things are improving. Over the last month, the unemployment rate has slowly raised, at least in some places. And next month looks to get just a little better yet. We’re optimistic with our June 2021: Restaurant Good News Roundup, and hopeful that next month will be even better. Did we miss anything? Sign off in the comment section below!
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About the Author
Syd is a content marketing specialist, which are fancy words for writing pretty to tell a good story. He likes writing things about food, drinks, and music. He’s a musician himself, a father of two, and loves his wife a whole lot.