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The Latest News on COVID-19's Impact on Bars & Restaurants

  • by: Maggie Mahar
  • On: 13, Mar 2020
504 min read

Many industries are beginning to feel the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. But none more so than the hospitality industry. Bars, restaurants, hotels and cruise ships are experiencing a dramatic decline in customer traffic. To put it bluntly, the situation downright sucks. But no matter where you fall within the industry, it's important to stay informed. And if you've come here, you've come to the right place. We'll be updating this page live, as we continue coverage on this ongoing global pandemic. 

May 19

Every State’s Official Restaurant Reopening Guidelines

Here’s the latest on which states are allowing restaurants to resume in-person dining and the official reopening guidelines that they’ll have to follow.

Off-Premise Alcohol Sales Are a Lifeline for Bars and Restaurants That Should Continue Permanently

When the Covid-19 pandemic first took hold in the U.S., most bars and restaurants across the country were forced to close or transition their operations to delivery or takeout. As on-premise sales dropped off a cliff, state governments responded with temporary executive orders allowing bars and restaurants to sell sealed, unopened bottles of wine, beer, and spirits — and, in some cases, pre-made cocktails — to go.

Clique Hospitality’s Andy Masi Tackles the Monumental Task of Reopening His Restaurant Empire in Las Vegas

Since March 17, all of his restaurants from Hearthstone at Red Rock Resort to Bottiglia at Green Valley Ranch have been closed. Now they’re about to reopen. Here’s how he planned everything from new menus to hiring back staff.

 

May 18

Coronavirus Liability Waivers Unlikely to Shield Restaurant Employers

Workers’ compensation law remains general remedy should an employee contract virus, says hospitality legal expert.

Some Restaurant Owners Want to Close. The Problem Is, It’s Not That Simple.

Confronted with growing losses from the pandemic, restaurant owners face personal ruin.

May 15

CDC Releases Guidelines for Reopening Restaurant Dining Rooms and Bars

Safety and monitoring protocols must be in place.

May 14

Some Restaurants are Tacking COVID-19 Surcharges onto Customer Bills

Restaurants are adding small charges to keep up with supply chain and food costs as a result of the pandemic.

Will the Coronavirus make Luxury Napa Valley Wine Less Relevant?

Plus: The plight of small wineries amid the COVID-19 crisis and more, in this week’s Drinking with Esther newsletter.

IWSR analyzes impact of the 2008 financial crash on the beverage alcohol industry and assesses similar patterns with COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is set to cause a deeper and more long-lasting impact to the global drinks industry than the 2008 financial crash, with the on-premise and global travel retail both suffering a severe impact.

May 13

VinePair Podcast: What Happens When Summer Drinking and Social Distancing Collide?

Every summer brings with it a hugely important question: What will be the drink of summer? In 2019, all we could talk about was hard seltzer. The summer of 2020 is looking a little different, though, because it will be tempered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mannequins Will Fill Empty Seats at This Michelin-Starred Restaurant

Renowned chef Patrick O’Connell’s social-distanced reopening plan for the Inn at Little Washington is pretty out-there, but so is everything else right now.

A West Michigan Restaurant Is Adding a COVID-19 Fee to Takeout Orders

The $1 fee is charged per meal and is designed to help offset the rising cost of serving carryout food.

US Alcohol Sales Rise at Highest Rate Since Lockdown Peak

The rapid growth of alcohol sales in the retail sector shows no signs of slowing, as some states in the US begin to loosen lockdown restrictions.

France Puts a Cork in Champagne Sales

The French champagne industry's trade body suspended early sales of the iconic sparkling wine Wednesday in an effort to support prices and deal with a huge stock overhang made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.

May 12

Hospitality Will Have To Change in the Aftermath of COVID-19

Despite significant breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, technology has yet to supplant the presence of waiters in restaurants.

Six Questions Restaurant Workers Should Ask Their Employers Before Returning to Work

The restaurant you used to work for received a PPP loan and wants you back — now what?

May 11

Where Restaurants Have Reopened Across the U.S.

Half the country is reopening for business amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Here's what Happened when a Southern Illinois Restaurant Defied the Governor and Reopened Friday

Meanwhile, Chicago bar and restaurants continue to vent.

May 9

As South Korea Eases Limits, Virus Cluster Prompts Seoul to Close Bars

With no vaccine in sight, the country is urging people to reclaim more of their daily lives, while bracing for new waves that are all but inevitable.

May 8

Some Restaurants Are Making Permanent Pivots to Adapt to a New Normal

These chefs and owners are anticipating a world where diners and staff want to limit their time inside restaurants.

Where Restaurants Have Reopened Across the U.S.

Nearly half the country is reopening for business amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On-Demand Food Delivery Apps are Letting Minors Order Alcohol, Regulators Say

California officials say COVID-19 is spurring underage alcohol purchasing.

May 4

Covid-19 Conversations: VinePair’s Best Cocktail Bar of 2019, Mister Paradise, on Alcohol Delivery and the Future of Bars

In this installment of “Covid-19 Conversations,” VinePair CEO Adam Teeter interviews Eric Kruvant and WIlliam Wyatt, co-owners of New York’s Mister Paradise, which was named among VinePair’s 10 Best New Cocktail Bars in 2019.

Maine Brewpub Owner Defies Executive Order, Loses Licenses

As states grapple with reopening for business in face of the COVID-19 pandemic, one Maine brewpub owner opted to defy the reopening plan Gov. Janet Mills laid out last week that orders restaurants to remain shut for on-premise dining until June.

How the COVID-19 Pandemic is Changing Quality Management for Beverage Bottlers

Beverage bottlers, like manufacturers everywhere, have worked tirelessly to deal with the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. From enabling some staff to work remotely to adjusting shifts to dealing with a reduced onsite workforce and rapidly changing demand for products, bottlers are testing the limits of their operational agility and flexibility.

May 1

On-Premise Shutdowns Could Cost Beer Industry $8 Billion

The near-nationwide shutdown of the on-premise channel will result in a loss of $8 billion for the beer industry if it continues into June, National Beer Wholesalers Association chief economist Lester Jones said during a State of the Industry webinar hosted by the NBWA and the Beer Institute (BI) last week.

US wine sales in stores up 14% in 5th week of coronavirus lockdown but tripled via e-commerce

U.S. consumers still seem to be buying more adult beverages in stores and online during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest data from Nielsen.

Covid-19 Conversations: Michel Chapoutier on Covid-19’s Impact on French Wine and Restaurants

In this installment of Covid-19 Conversations, VinePair CEO Adam Teeter speaks with Michel Chapoutier, president and winemaker of the eponymous Chapoutier, a producer of organic and biodynamic wines in Tain-l’Hermitage, France.

A $7 Million Fund for out-of-work Bartenders Could End Up Not Helping Most Applicants. Why?

For Bay Area bartenders, the world changed on March 15 when Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all bars in California to close. That announcement, immediately followed by shelter-in-place orders in the Bay Area, meant joblessness, and with that came a host of anxieties: How would bartenders pay their bills? Their rent? Or even eat?

April 29

Treasury Department to Audit Businesses that Received more than $2 Million from the Paycheck Protection Program

The goal is to recoup loan funds intended for small business recovery that were awarded to large public companies.

Covid-19 Conversations: Gosling’s CEO Malcom Gosling on How Covid-19 Is Impacting the World of Rum

In this installment of Covid-19 Conversations, VinePair CEO Adam Teeter interviews Malcolm Gosling, president and CEO of Gosling’s International, the world-famous company best known for its Black Seal Rum and trademarked cocktail, the Dark ‘N’ Stormy.

Covid-19 Pandemic: a Major Impact on U.S. Wineries

WineAmerica's second winery survey provides data from March 15 to April 15.

April 28

A Beer Lover’s Nightmare: They’re Dumping Draft Brew

As bars and taprooms close, many craft brewers have too much aging beer on their hands. But others are finding new ways to package and sell it.

What Will On-Premise Look Like This Summer?

What will the on-premise look like in the months following the easing of stay at home orders? This isn’t an easy question to answer. Even in simplified form, there is a policy piece, a consumer behavior piece, an economics piece, and an epidemiological piece, not to mention the interaction between each of those variables.

April 27

Reflecting on the Approaching Reopening

Everything you missed in food news last week.

Nielsen: Beer Category Dollar Sales Growth Trends Slowest of Last 6 Weeks

Beer category dollar sales in off-premise retailers tracked by market research firm Nielsen increased 12.3%, to $856 million, for the week ending April 18, compared to the same one-week last year.

Restaurant Re-Openings: What American Operators can Learn from China as we Enter the COVID-19 Recovery Stage

In most restaurants across China, face masks are mandatory and customers get their temperature checked upon entering.

Behind the Bar: Vida Taco Bar is Thriving With Cocktail Deliveries

Vida Taco Bar is a ‘farm to taco’ concept that has three Maryland locations in Annapolis, Baltimore, and a residential neighborhood between the two called Severna Park.

Seattle Caps Third-Party Delivery Fees at 15%; NYC Considers 10% Cap

New York City will consider capping fees on Wednesday as industry advocates put pressure on delivery companies to reduce profit-hurting commissions while Chicago and Los Angeles consider similar measures.

Looking to the Past to Prepare for the Future

As the co-founder of one of the country’s largest independent food companies, I’ve spent the past 38 years trying to plan for the future. Now, I’m taking my cues from history.

Restaurants Get New Shot at Stimulus Loans as Funds Replenish With $310 Billion

The first round of Paycheck Protection Program funding was roundly criticized as chains like Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Sweetgreen, and Shake Shack received millions while many small independent businesses got nothing.

What It’s Like for Restaurants to Reopen

Correspondents in Hong Kong and Atlanta visit Eater’s Digest to talk respective reopening plans.

James Beard Foundation Will Announce 2020 Awards Finalists May 4

The Foundation will announce the 2020 nominees during a livestream, weeks after postponing the original event due to COVID-19.

April 24

Comparing Georgia and Tennessee's Plans to Reopen Restaurants

Governor Bill Lee of Tennessee and Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia both plan to reopen restaurants on Monday, April 27th. Each state has now issued guidelines and we have included a summary of similarities and differences as well as the full text from their state websites.

Paycheck Protection Program to Receive $310 Billion; Brewers Association Asks for New Industry Classification for Brewpubs

More aid money is on the way for small businesses. Here's what we know.

Paycheck Protection Program to Receive $310 Billion; Brewers Association Asks for New Industry Classification for Brewpubs More aid money is on the way for small businesses. Here's everything we know.

The Brewers Association (BA) today announced it has formed a partnership with nonprofit fundraising organization Bottleshare to establish the “Believe in Beer Fund” to support breweries and state brewers guilds across the country that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

April 23

For Restaurants, GoFundMe Proves a Not-Quick-Enough Fix

The crowdfunding platform’s unexpected delays in paying out are leaving some restaurant staffs in the lurch.

April 22

Best Strategies for Reopening Restaurants in the Coronavirus Era

Expert Mandy Sedlak, food safety and public health manager for Ecolab’s Ecosure division, offers health and sanitation steps to consider as restrictions are lifted.

Americans Buying More Alcohol During the Coronavirus Pandemic, but Craft Brewers are Struggling

Closed bars and taprooms have dried up sales for thousands of brewing companies even as supermarket sales soar.

Chicago Considers Capping Delivery App Fees for Restaurants at 5 Percent

An ordinance introduced on Wednesday would affect Grubhub, DoorDash, and others.

San Francisco Restaurants Grapple With Law Requiring All Customers to Wear Masks

Restaurants are required to kick the maskless out, a mandate that some restaurant owners say is an overstep.

Survey Says: Restaurants Won’t Be Ready to Open With Rest of the Country

New data from restaurant groups and organizations shows a stark future for the hospitality industry.

April 21

The Lockdown Was Terrible for Restaurants. Can We Make ‘Reopening’ Any Better?

Without proper aid, restaurants will struggle through rolling lockdowns and half-capacity dining rooms.

Brewbound Frontlines: Founders of Popular Breweries Discuss Business Model Changes During COVID-19

Brewbound’s live streamed virtual panel series returns Thursday, April 23 at 3 p.m. ET with the founders of Trillium Brewing, Other Half Brewing and WeldWerks Brewing.

Watch: Surly Brewing’s Omar Ansari on Making Tough Decisions During COVID-19 Crisis

Surly Brewing founder Omar Ansari has made his share of those decisions over the last month after shuttering his beer hall, pizza place and event space in mid-March. Couple those closures with the shutdown of on-premise sales, and around 60% of Surly’s revenue evaporated overnight.

Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee set to ease business restrictions

Restaurant owners prepare to reopen dining rooms as states lift coronavirus rules.

Danny Meyer Is Auctioning Off His Restaurants' Wine Collections to Raise Money for Workers

Wines from Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants including Gramercy Tavern, The Modern, Union Square Cafe, Maialino, and Marta are up for bids starting today.

America's Craft Beer Boom may go Flat as Coronavirus Shutdown Slows Brewery Taps

Beer lovers may soon find themselves crying in their beer – or at least what's left of it. And you can blame it on the coronavirus.

Every Red Light Eventually Turns Green

When faced with a lengthy business shutdown, it can be a roller coaster of emotions when you learn it’s time to re-open. While it is understandable that you want to open your doors as quickly as possible, you also want to ensure you’re doing it correctly and in a way that will not cause further damage to your brand, bottom line, staff, or guests.

VinePair Podcast: Will Small Drinks Brands Survive the Covid-19 Crisis?

As the Covid-19 crisis and the associated lockdowns, quarantines, and stay-at-home orders persist, our drinking habits and purchasing opportunities are shifting. These changes are creating winners and losers in the beverage alcohol business. 

Germany's Oktoberfest scrapped over virus in blow to beer industry

Bavaria on Tuesday cancelled the iconic Oktoberfest for the first time since World War II dealing a fresh blow to Germany's beer industry already hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

April 20

Nielsen: Number of Independent and Longtail Craft Items Sold in Decline

More than 1,900 fewer beer category (beer/FMB/cider) products — a majority of which were made by independent and longtail craft producers — were sold in off-premise retailers during the first six weeks of the COVID-19 crisis compared to the same period in 2019, according to market research firm Nielsen.

Update on Illinois restaurants: How are they doing?

Sam Toia, President of the Illinois Restaurant Association joins the show to give the latest restaurant updates, a new grocery delivery service and how more money could potentially be available for restaurants from the CARES Act.

National Restaurant Association: Restaurants need $240 billion bailout as job losses reach 8 million

NRA introduces ‘Blueprint for Recovery’ plan to ‘save the industry from ruin’.

Will Cash No Longer Be King? The Rise of Digital Payments

When bars and restaurants look to reopen, first they will have to deal with government regulations on when they can reopen and what restrictions may be in place. The second will be ensuring they set up their operation for what the future of guest experience may look like and help ensure they are as making guests feel comfortable.

How Hospitality and Retail Businesses can Survive the Coronavirus Shutdown

Policymakers around the world have enforced an unprecedented shutdown of public life to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. As a consequence, entire sectors of the economy have seen their revenues collapse to zero.

Promoting Your Hotel Brand in a Socially Distanced World

The virus outbreak that started in Wuhan and spread around the globe will eventually end and worldwide travel will resume. However, the fear and new social patterns might linger for quite some time after that in what could best be described as 'post coronavirus stress disorder' (PCSD). Such a mass behavioral shift dictates that hospitality will need to adapt yet again to meet any demand changes.

COVID-19 could permanently reshape the business of wine in Napa Valley

With tasting rooms closed, most of Napa Valley’s wineries have had to drastically alter the way they do business. Those changes could reshape the industry for good, experts say.

European Winemakers May Have to Turn a Billion Liters of Wine into Industrial Alcohol

Coronavirus has been a devastating blow to an already struggling EU wine market.

April 19

Shake Shack returning $10 million government loan meant for small businesses

With the Paycheck Protection Program already out of money, the burger chain says other restaurateurs need its loan more than it does.


April 18

Beer may lose its fizz as CO2 supplies go flat during pandemic

Dwindling supplies of carbon dioxide from ethanol plants are sparking concern about shortages of beer, soda and seltzer water - essentials for many quarantined Americans.

April 17

For Restaurants, Masks Could Be the New Normal

Even if it’s not mandated by the government, many restaurant owners are making sure staff cover their faces.

How Is the CARES Act Going for Restaurants? Not Great

The stimulus package is “giant lump of coal” for independent restaurants, and highlights all the reasons why the hospitality industry needs its own relief.

Colorado’s craft beer industry is sobered as brewers predict mass closures if social distancing continues

Breweries faced a tough road in 2020 before the coronavirus, now one forecast suggests 60% of breweries won’t make it to June.

Can I Put You on Hold? — COVID-19 Means Breweries in Planning Left Waiting on Their Futures

The down economy is now also posing a fundamental question to breweries in planning: do they dare even try to open?

April 16

White House coronavirus Task Force Outlines Phases for Reopening Restaurants, Bars

No timeline was given for 'Opening Up America,' but sit-down dining will reopen first, followed by bars; Trump said about 29 states are close to meeting reopening criteria.

Covid-19 Conversations: Jackson Family Wines’ Maggie Curry on the Future of Drinking at Home

In this installment of “Covid-19 Conversations,” VinePair CEO Adam Teeter interviews Maggie Curry, director of marketing of Jackson Family Wines and Kendall-Jackson, about behavioral shifts in wine consumption and wine sales.

How Bars, Restaurants, and Other Hospitality Businesses are Arguing that their Business Interruption Insurance Does Cover COVID-19 Related Shut-Downs and Their Insurance Companies Were Wrong to Deny Claims

 Businesses impacted by COVID-19 should be aware of these lawsuits and arguments as it is not a certainty that the blanket denials of coverage are proper and that no coverage is owed under property-damage based business interruption insurance.

Lol the White House’s Economic Council for Restaurants Is Just a Bunch of Chains and Four Fine Dining Chefs

Thomas Keller, Wolfgang Puck, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Daniel Boulud are the only independent operators involved.

US Wine Losses from COVID-19 Could Reach $5.94 Billion

Revenue losses for the nation’s more than 10,000 wineries and more than 8,000 winegrape growers due to COVID-19 could reach $5.94 billion on an annualized basis in 2020, according to a new analysis by wine industry expert Jon Moramarco, managing partner of bw166 and editor of the Gomberg-Fredrikson Report.

April 15

How One Chef Is Feeding LA’s Hospital Workers, 100 Enchiladas at a Time

The idea of comfort food has become a cliche, but for those working the front lines at hospitals, a well-prepared meal makes all the difference.

How to Keep Your Kitchen Safe for Cooking During the Pandemic

Health authorities have stuck by the “4 Steps of Food Safety” for decades: Clean (wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces often); separate (separate raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs from other groceries); cook (to safe temperatures); and chill (refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours). Those rules still hold up during the COVID-19 pandemic, just with a few added steps and specifications.

The New Abnormal: How the Restaurant Industry will be Changed by Coronavirus

Amid predictions about when and how businesses may start to fully reopen, experts paint a picture of a dramatically altered industry.

Trump Taps Nearly 2 Dozen Food Executives for ‘Economic Revival’ Group

White House creates restaurant-beverage industry panel to advise on coronavirus recovery.

April 14

The Exhausting Business of Trying to Stay in Business

"Once the doors to my Mexican sweets business closed, figuring out how to reopen became my full-time job."

BA’s Bart Watson: COVID-19 ‘A Shock to the System’ for Craft Breweries

By most metrics, small and independent craft brewing companies posted solid volume growth in 2019. However, the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many craft brewers into “survival mode,” is overshadowing 2019’s growth.

Michigan Allows Bars and Restaurants to Sell Unused Alcohol Back to the State in Exchange for Cash

Liquor license holders must submit requests for reimbursement before 5 p.m. on Friday, April 17.

April 13

Top Wholesale Players Adapt To A New Marketplace Shaped By Covid-19

With the Covid-19 crisis impacting the drinks business at all levels, the U.S. market's top wholesalers have been adapting to the conditions by bolstering their off-premise operations and expanding e-commerce initiatives to compensate for the broad shutdown of the on-premise in states across the country.

As Restaurants Shift to Takeout During the Pandemic, some Customers are Buying Special Wines

Would you like some Romanée-Conti with your fries?

Samuel Adams is Offering $1,000 Grants to Unemployed Restaurant and Bar Staffers

Plus, Union Square Hospitality Group is auctioning off dinners and cooking classes to support its employees — and more intel.

 

April 12

Samuel Adams is Offering $1,000 Grants to Unemployed Restaurant and Bar Staffers

Partnering with The Greg Hill Foundation, Samuel Adams has launched the Restaurant Strong Fund, which offers $1,000 to restaurant workers in 20 states, including California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Texas and Vermont.

April 11

How Can We Make Virtual Wine Tastings Less Sucky?

The last few weeks, I’ve been wrapping my head around the new abnormal. This has included indulging in the smorgasbord of virtual wine events that have sprung up everywhere.

April 10

DoorDash Cuts Commission Fees by 50% for Independent Restaurants

Fee reductions will not have to be repaid for restaurants with five or fewer locations through May.

Covid-19 Conversations: CMO Stephanie Gallo on How the World’s Largest Family-Owned Winery Is Adapting and Innovating

In this installment of Covid-19 Conversations, VinePair CEO Adam Teeter interviews Stephanie Gallo, chief marketing officer at E. & J. Gallo Winery, about how her family’s winery is reassessing how it both makes and sells wine in the face of the widespread disruptions caused by coronavirus.

Coronavirus’ Continued Impact On The Wine Industry

As the number of U.S. citizens under quarantine increases, analysts continue to debate the moves that the wine industry—and restaurants—should make to stay profitable.

Open or Closed, Think Local

Top tips to help you manage your employees, marketing and strategy during the coronavirus outbreak.

8 Mental Health Tips for Bartenders During Bar and Restaurant Closures

Mental health experts offer concrete ways to cope with feelings of anxiety, guilt and stress.

[Video] Developing Your Marketing Crisis Plan with Speaker Aleya Harris

Aleya realizes many of her clients might feel stuck right now and addresses how to ask the right questions to find a path forward.

April 9

Understanding the Psyche of Bar & Restaurant Guests Upon Reopening

Everything from guest experience, operations, food & beverage, and technology has to be rethought.

Online Alcohol Sales Are Rising, But Will It Be A Long-Term Change?

Overall, alcohol sales were up 22% for the week ending March 28, 2020. Percentages up at the end of March are not as high as they were after the first two weeks in the month, but according to Nielsen, sales are still much greater than normal at this time of year.

Understanding the Psyche of Bar & Restaurant Guests Upon Reopening

Many businesses are right now focused on the immediate financial and emotional toll of being shut down due to the ongoing pandemic. Others are starting to prepare a new plan of attack mapped against what the new normal may look like after mandated stay-at-homes are eased or lifted. Everything from guest experience, operations, food & beverage, and technology has to be rethought.

Diageo North America Announces #TipsFromHome Social Pledge Movement To Rally Further Support For The Bar & Restaurant Community

With a $500,000 Kickoff Pledge, #TipsFromHome will Serve as an Ongoing Financial Relief Program to Serve Those Who Serve Us.

April 8

A Post-Crisis Top-3 Revenue Management Action Plan

14 experts share their views.

World Beer Cup Beer Lends a Hand to First Responders

With a warehouse full of beer slated for a canceled World Beer Cup® competition, the Brewers Association had a dilemma—what to do with the beer.

There May be Some Relief for the Hospitality Sector Amid Coronavirus

 A relatively new company called Better.com, headquartered downtown at 3 WTC, is in the process of hiring an army of new workers. And that army is going to be made up of people who’ve been laid off mostly by New York City restaurants and hotels.

Empty Hotels ‘keep the lights on’ by Converting into Coronavirus Quarantines, Emergency Housing for First Responders

Government officials across the country are converting thousands of empty hotel rooms intohousing for coronavirus patients and first responders.

Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri Give Big to Food Charities, Restaurants, and Service Worker Funds

Plus, Panera is pivoting to groceries, and more news to start your day.

‘Restaurants Cannot Cook Their Way Out of This Crisis’

Industry pros break down the often unseen challenges restaurants face to survive the coronavirus crisis.


April 7

Keeping Employees When Unemployment Pays More

With hundreds of thousands of applications already estimated to have been submitted for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) rolling in since last Friday, the focus of businesses will shift to how and what to do with their staff to ensure the loan is forgivable.

The F&W Pro Guide to Coronavirus: What Restaurants Should Know

Practical ways to keep your staff and customers safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some Restaurant Relief Funds Are So Overwhelmed With Applications They’ve Stopped Taking New Ones

Nonprofits are struggling to keep up with unprecedented need.

Where Restaurant Workers Can Get Financial Help During the Coronavirus Crisis

Relief funds for industry employees that have been laid-off, furloughed or had hours reduced, organized by city and state.

Bars and Restaurants get Creative with Drink Sales in the Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic

Wine clubs, curated consultation, pop-ups and cocktail kits all fit into the mix.

How COVID-19 is Impacting Consumer Behavior in the Restaurant Industry

Data and insights focusing on the restaurant industry and how trends have shifted since the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11.

The Brewer's Association COVID-19 Resource Hub

We understand concerns about COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) are top of mind for our members and the brewing community. Above is an evolving collection of resources to consider related to your brewery business.

Some Restaurant Relief Funds Are So Overwhelmed With Applications They’ve Stopped Taking New Ones

Nonprofits are struggling to keep up with unprecedented need. 

Tom Colicchio on Where the Stimulus Falls Short for Restaurants

The chef visits Eater’s Digest to talk through the CARES Act.

April 6

This Small Southern Town Ran on Restaurants. Then Coronavirus Hit

In Kinston, North Carolina, hospitality is everything. As the public health crisis wreaks havoc on local businesses, we reached out to every restaurant in town and collected stories of fear, hope, and survival.

The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation’s coronavirus employee relief fund was so popular that it crashed almost immediately after applications opened

Although the application for the Education Foundation’s employee relief program in partnership with Guy Fieri, crashed just after midnight on April 2, the organization said that applications will open again soon.

The US is Home to Almost 500,000 Independent Restaurants. Here's Exactly What Their Owners are Saying They Will Need in Order to Survive The 'Restaurant Apocalypse.'

The $2.2 trillion stimulus bill signed into law by President Trump on March 27th, known as the CARES Act, set aside $350 billion in loans to help small businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis. But independent restaurants, the IRC insists, need their own rescue package to survive the pandemic.

Closures, Takeout, and Relief Efforts: How Food Businesses Nationwide Are Handling Coronavirus

The restaurant industry has already been deeply affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Here are a few of their stories, which we'll be updating regularly.

State’s Plan to Rebuild NYC Economy May Focus on Tourism, Restaurants

Plus, a new website highlights neighborhood restaurants that remain open for delivery and takeout — and more intel.

Coronavirus is Going to Change Restaurants For Years

While people are dreaming of returning to restaurants and bars following the coronavirus outbreak, some experts say that the pandemic will create long-term changes in the industry.

April 5

It Was Gone Overnight

One restaurant's struggle to weather the pandemic. 

Open For Takeout: Part 1: A Restaurant’s Journey Through The COVID-19 Pandemic

What does this look like through the eyes of a restaurant owner? Over the next month, Forbes will be following the journey of XO Restaurant as it navigates the COVID-19 pandemic.  struggle to weather the pandemic. 

April 4

Restaurant and bars account for more than half of the US jobs lost in March

A total of 701,000 jobs were lost in March, according to the US Department of Labor’s monthly report, released yesterday. While no sector was immune, restaurants and bars accounted for 60%, or 419,000, of the jobs cut.

April 3

Small Business Relief Tracker: Funding, Grants And Resources For Business Owners Grappling With Coronavirus

In an effort to help business owners find financial relief, we’ve rounded up all of the government agencies, private companies and nonprofit organizations that are extending support.

Keep Track of How the Coronavirus Is Impacting Atlanta’s Food Scene

Stories and news on COVID-19’s impact on restaurants and bars around Atlanta.

How To Make It As A Solo Founder, Especially During Difficult Times

Being a solo founder can be hard, especially in the most challenging economic circumstances.

Restaurant workers could receive $500 grant for coronavirus relief

Restaurant Employee Relief Fund helps industry employees during hardship.

Cheesecake Factory says March same-store sales fell 46% in coronavirus impact

Company says off-premise model ‘operating sustainably’ with annualized average sales of $3M per unit.

Trump Pushes Tax Break To Boost Restaurants, But Would It Actually Help?

Trump is pushing Congress to restore the measure that gave corporations a tax break for the cost of food and entertainment for clients and potential customers.

April 2

Coronavirus: Food delivery is 300 times more popular vs. a month ago, according to Yelp data

The economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has had a dramatic effect on how people spend money, reshaping the current landscape industry by industry.

Paycheck Protection Loans—What Small Businesses Need To Know

Here are the basics of what every small business owner in America needs to know.

April 1

How American Bartenders Are Supporting Each Other Right Now

In spite of their own struggles, bartenders and other hospitality workers extend a hand to one another in whatever ways they can.

Rent’s Due For Many IL Restaurant and Bar Owners on Wednesday

Plus, the state liquor control commission reaffirms its stance on to-go cocktails.

Despite COVID-19, Restaurants Like the Companion Forge Ahead With Planned Openings in Atlanta

This isn’t how longtime Steinbeck’s chef Andy Gonzales expected to open his new northwest Atlanta bar and restaurant the Companion.

How Coronavirus is Impacting the Craft Beer Industry

From event cancellations to closed taprooms, the craft beer industry is feeling the sting of the coronavirus epidemic.

March 31

Food service workers: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected you?

From line cooks to bartenders to grocery store cashiers, the Eater want to hear how COVID-19 has impacted your job and where you work.

Sales Growth Slowing at Third-Party Delivery Platforms

Demand for foodservice delivery has so far been a mixed bag.

James Beard Foundation Offering 15K Grants For Small Restaurants

The James Beard Foundation has opened applications for a relief fund for independent restaurants feeling the negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, providing one-time payments of $15,000 to eligible operators.

March 30

How to Prepare Draft Systems for Cleaning and Temporary Closure

It’s likely that beer reps clean and maintain the draft systems for operators and managers with whom they have a good relationship. Still, this is information every owner, operator, manager and bartender should know.

Twin Cities Restaurants Feed Hungry Kids as Minnesota Schools Close Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Restaurants offering free meals to kids who depend on school lunch.

March 29

Zoom cooking classes and online tastings: How restaurants are fighting coronavirus

With customers locked in their homes, bars, cafes and restaurants around the world are coming up with clever ways to stay afloat.

March 28

Arizona Beer Distribution Company to Help State Restaurant, Bar Employees

Crescent Crown Distributing, the state’s largest beer distributor, now has a special program to help those who work in our bars and restaurants. The company is donating 15 cents for every case of beer they sell over the next month.

March 27

What’s It Like to Work in Wine Right Now?

Daily stories from sommeliers, retailers, winemakers and importers working in the wake of COVID-19.

Best safety practices for delivery and takeout in the COVID-19 age

Ecolab manager offers advice on methods and protocols in off-premise food amid the coronavirus pandemic.

If the Stimulus Package Fails Independent Restaurants, It Fails America

Simply put, the deal isn’t good enough for small business owners or millions of service workers.

Analysts Report on Macro Impacts of COVID-19 Across Food and Beverage Industry

In a webinar hosted by Rabobank yesterday, analysts at the multinational banking and financial services company offered an overview of the macro impacts of COVID-19 on the food and beverage industry.

Yelp, GoFundMe Make COVID-19 Fundraisers for Restaurants Without Their Permission

Blindsiding businesses that were already in a tough position.

March 26

Everything to Know About How the $2 Trillion Stimulus Helps (and Fails) Restaurants

NYC hospitality workers will earn their full salary while out of work, but loans to restaurants carry tight strings.

With Their Restaurants Closed, Chefs Turn to Instagram Live to Inspire Home Cooks

How social media offers valuable information and a sense of community as folks stay at home.

March 25

What’s the Best Thing You Can Do After Letting Brewery Staff Go? Stay Connected

Between now and when things "blow over", it's extremely important to stay connected with the employees you've had to let go.

Atlanta Restaurants Now Serving As Neighborhood Markets and Food Pantries

Restaurants and counter-serve joints selling everything from milk, bread, and eggs to toilet paper, wine, and beer.

Colorado Wants Craft Breweries To Capture The CO2 Their Brews Burp Out, And Make Some Cash From It

To reach its lofty greenhouse gas reduction goals, the state says it's necessary to look at all solutions, big and small.

March 24

Four Bartenders Remember How They Coped with Crises Past

"Even in desperate times like this, the idea of hospitality doesn't go away."

The New Craft Beer Community

Craft beer is defined by change but the industry has never seen anything like this.

Until the Government Orders a Rent Freeze, Here’s How Restaurant Owners Should Talk to Landlords About COVID-19

Lawyer Jasmine Moy breaks down how to approach landlords — and why you need an attorney right now.

Keep Track of How the Coronavirus Is Impacting Atlanta’s Food Scene

Stories and news on COVID-19’s impact on restaurants and bars around Atlanta.

March 23

Here are the current temporary restrictions imposed on bars and restaurants to stem the spread of coronavirus

Nation’s Restaurant News has collected the most recent restrictions from official statements and news reports.

Looking to Help Your Staff? These Nine Companies are Hiring

Try these suggestions as another alternative for your staff to find the necessary wages to pay their bills while we wait for the coronavirus pandemic to pass.

DoorDash Launches #openfordelivery, Collaborates With Rival Third-Party Apps Like Grubhub and Uber Eats

This campaign is one of many that have sprung up to support the restaurant industry during coronavirus pandemic.

Chefs Edward Lee, Alon Shaya and Others Start Restaurant Workers Relief Program for Employees Impacted by Coronavirus

Chef Edward Lee started a relief program to provide food, funds, and supplies for out-of-work foodservice industry employees

Restaurant Workers on How Their Lives Have Been Changed By The Coronavirus

Many servers, baristas, and bartenders have already been laid off. Now they’re looking to the government for help.

COVID-19 and Food Safety

A comprehensive guide to food safety the novel coronavirus.

'Can we last two weeks?': What it's like to be a Restaurant Worker During Coronavirus

These are the personal stories of five people's jobs have been taken by the coronavirus pandemic.

Draft System Recommendations During Times of Shutdown

These are unprecedented times. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many breweries, bars, and restaurants are being forced to stop serving draught beer for a while.

What It’s Like to Work in a New York Restaurant Right Now

Jessica Quinn, the pastry chef at Rezdôra, in New York's Flatiron District, recounts her day-to-day amid the coronavirus crisis.

NYC restaurants stop offering takeout due to coronavirus crisis

New York’s once-thriving restaurant scene is fast becoming a graveyard.

March 22

Op-Ed: Why Restaurateurs Are Demanding—And Deserve—A Bailout

Denver's Chef Paul C. Reilly asks for the government’s help now, so independent restaurants can be here for us later.

While Chain Restaurants Ask For Government Bail-Outs, Most Refuse To Bail Out Sick Hourly Employees

While restaurant owners around the country beg lawmakers to offer them financial relief and assistance to comply with legally mandated orders to temporarily close their dining rooms in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus, only a few national chains are doing anything to ensure all of their hourly workers physically and economically survive the pandemic.

March 21

Coronavirus Has Changed the Way We See Restaurants and Bars

The pandemic has shown Americans that the millions of service industry employees are an economic force. But until this moment, did patrons and lawmakers ever really see us?

March 20

How This Cocktail Delivery Program Is Helping Bartenders

A quick business pivot helps bartenders, small businesses and drinkers, too.

A List of Resources for Coronavirus-Affected Restaurant Owners And Chefs

As Los Angeles restaurants continue to close or limit service due to recommendations by the city, county, and state, these resources are available for restaurant owners.

Restaurants Pivot to Groceries and Meal Kits to Save Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As dining rooms empty, restaurants, like Founding Farmers, set up markets to feed consumers

Yelp Adds 'Contact-Free' Delivery Option to Help Aid Restaurants During Coronavirus

The new feature comes through a partnership with Grubhub and arrives next week.

Virtual Happy Hour, Barbell Rentals, DIY Craft Kits: Colorado Businesses Share Their Coronavirus Survival Strategies

In these trying times of COVID-19 and government-mandated business shut downs, small business owners are getting creative as they’re forced to pivot or else face layoffs or permanent closures.

Coronavirus Forces Restaurants to get Creative: How to get Takeout, Family Meals, Alcohol

When times get tough, restaurants get creative.

March 19

NYC Is ‘Considering’ Sales Tax Payment Delay After Restaurant Outcry

The decision, which will come later on Thursday, will have a huge impact on restaurants and bars currently in crisis mode, business owners say.

Here Are The Coronavirus Restrictions in Southern California

Southern California has taken sweeping measures since Monday to end dine-in restaurant eating, close gyms and movie theaters.

What Happens to New Restaurants Trying to Open in the Middle of a Pandemic?

So much uncertainty has thrown Detroit’s restaurants into limbo. Business owners talk about the resulting fear and anxiety.

The Eat Index: OC: How Coronavirus is Impacting Restaurants, Bars, Breweries and Wineries

Across Southern California, independent restaurants, which often run on smaller profit margins, feared that even a temporary closure could be devastating. Many were trying to adapt by offering menu items to-go, delivering food and rearranging their seating, among other methods.

Restaurants Adapt Amid Coronavirus Closures

Boulder County restaurateurs have quickly transitioned their businesses to accommodate a mandate that all restaurants and bars in the state close to dine-in services for 30 days.

March 18

Quieted Kitchens Turn From Feeding Customers to Making Meals for Food Shelf

Restaurants like The Bachelor Farmer and Alma in Minnesota are donating food, space, and skill.

D.C.’s Beer Hall-Turned-Relief Center Needs More Help From Chefs

Hook Hall in Park View is now a pickup point for care packages and meals.

The Livelihoods of Food-Service Workers Are Completely Uncertain

Whether restaurant-industry workers are still showing up to work or have been laid off, no one knows what could happen next

March 17

What The Hell Are Bar And Restaurant Workers Supposed To Do For The Next Few Months?

"I'm not worried about this virus; I'm worried about all these other things."

What It’s Like to Open a Restaurant in San Francisco During the Coronavirus Crisis

Bay Area restaurateur Reem Assil opened a new location of her bakery on San Francisco’s bustling Mission Street on March 11, but less than a week later, the city has basically shut down.

IRA Policy on Illinois Selling Alcohol To-Go

FAQ on the new policies and procedures surrounding selling alcohol for carry out, pick up, and delivery.

Here are the Current Temporary Restrictions Imposed on Bars and Restaurants to Stem the Spread of Coronavirus

Nation’s Restaurant News has collected the most recent restrictions from official statements and news reports.

A Critic and a Restaurant Face the Pandemic over Pastries (6 feet Apart)

A Los Angeles food critic recounts the trials and tribulations he faces as the global pandemic continues to disrupt the lives of the LA food scene.

Chicago’s Food World Reacts to Coronavirus Challenges

Read, in their own words, how Chicago restaurant leaders are coping with the new reality.

Alcohol Delivery Could Be a Salve for Ailing Chicago Restaurants

The state is encouraging restaurants to offer beer and wine for delivery and carry out.

How an Extraordinary Secret Meeting of Chicago Chefs Grew into a Commanding Voice to Seek Help From the Governor

 It began with one text message. ... By 1 p.m. Sunday, the meeting that had begun with a single text message had become a standing-room affair at Chef's Special.

Front of House, Top of Mind — What COVID-19 Means for the Beer Industry’s Frontline Staff

While the rest of the country mercurially responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, front-of-house employees in the hospitality industry are already feeling its force.

How to Help Chicago Bar and Restaurant Workers During the COVID-19 Outbreak

A running log of merch, prizes, and donation opportunities to help bridge the gap for employees during the mandated closure.

How Coronavirus Is Impacting LA’s Food World

Tracking how COVID-19 is impacting restaurant policies, events, and more

As Restaurants Go, So Goes Everything Else

To fight the pandemic, restaurants are shuttering across America with no aid in sight. What will happen to the rest of us?

To Provide Its Neighborhood With Some Sense of Normalcy, a Small Restaurant Becomes a Grab-and-Go Market

Diners will be able to shop for meals, as well as like fresh flowers, facial scrubs, and jams, at chef Minh Phan’s Porridge and Puffs

March 16

A Running List of the Chains Providing — and Not Providing — Paid Sick Leave

From McDonald’s to Whole Foods, Starbucks to Popeyes, here is what chains are offering (or denying) employees amid the coronavirus pandemic.

How New York City’s Bars and Restaurants Are Pivoting to Alcohol Delivery

Among all the understandable fears surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus right now, New Yorkers faced a dilemma this weekend: Should the city’s residents offer their characteristic solidarity with those in the hospitality industry, by continuing to dine out in restaurants and bars (albeit under capacity caps), or should New Yorkers instead adhere to the strict government guidelines calling for social distancing?

Chefs, Restaurant Owners Come Together To Ask City, State — And You — For Help During Coronavirus Shutdown

Chicago-area bars and restaurants are urging the state to give emergency unemployment benefits to all hourly and salaried workers, eliminate payroll tax for business owners and call for rent and loan abatement for workers.

Restaurant Owners Demand Help Amid COVID-19 Shutdown

Some 50 chefs and restaurateurs have taken to social media to ask the governor for immediate relief for furloughed workers with a two-week ban on dining in.

COVID-19 & the Fair Labor Standards Act Q&A

The U.S. Department of Labor answers questions pertaining to the current global pandemic. Find out more above.

How Should Restaurants Clean in Coronavirus Cases?

As more restaurants discover workers with suspected coronavirus diagnoses, operators are finding ways to scrub the units from top to bottom and to allay customer concerns.

Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.

How Restaurants Are Radically Changing To Deal With Coronavirus

Restaurants are responding by doing what they can to assuage a nation that will be increasingly isolated, deciding whether to close entirely or to limit their business to takeout and delivery.

Some Breweries Switch to Delivery, To-Go Options As Others Close Doors

Many Colorado breweries are closing their doors in the interest of public health or switching to new formats in the hope of staying in business.

COVID-19 Response Fund

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Feeding America is committed to serving communities and individuals facing hunger across America, wherever they are. 

Coronavirus: Workers Affected by Economic Realities

Authorities estimate approximately 7,000 family businesses have had to close, facing zero turnover.

March 15

Coronavirus Update: All Illinois Restaurants, Bars to Close for Inside Dining for 2 Weeks to Limit COVID-19 Spread, Governor Says

Beginning end of business Monday, March 16, through March 30, all Illinois bars and restaurants will be closed for inside dining. Take out and delivery will be allowed. More details above.

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti Will Soon Order Citywide Lockdown of Bars and Dine-In Restaurants

Bars are set to close today, and dine-in restaurants are likely to follow. If you're in Los Angeles, here's everything you need to know.11 things that changed today around COVID-19

Colorado Restaurants Step Up In the Face of COVID-19

Doors are closing, but local restaurants are also quickly adapting to provide delivery and pick-up orders, and banding together to feed colleagues and the community.

How Bars and Restaurants Can Survive the COVID-19 Crisis

10 recommendations for bars and restaurants to follow during this difficult time. 

Detroit Bartenders Get Creative With Side Gigs During Coronavirus Slowdown

For these Detroit-area bartenders, the novel coronavirus has forced them lean on second jobs as a source of income. Here's what they're doing to make ends meet.

Coronavirus Experts Encourage Distance. Is it Happening in Tampa Bay?

Despite recommendations from the CDC, Tampa Bay area residents are still out and about. What's next?

Coronavirus Survival Tips For Hotels

Occupancies are down, mass gatherings have been canceled and tourist arrivals have dropped. Author, Sheryl Kimes, dives into her previous research to get some tips on how to deal the novel coronavirus. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom Says All Bars and Wineries Should Close to Fight Spread Of Coronavirus

While it is not mandated, California's Governor Gavin Newsom is urging bars and wineries to temporarily close to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

March 13

Restaurants Are Encouraging Cashless Pay in Attempt to Limit Exchange of Germs

Health experts urge you to wash your hands after handling money, but is that enough? Some bars and restaurants aren't taking any risks, introducing no cash policies in exchange for credit/debit cards and payment apps like Venmo. 

Grubhub Announces It Will Delay Collecting Fees as Restaurants Deal With COVID-19

Grubhub has pledged, starting on Saturday, to delay the collection of certain fees it charges to “independent” restaurants. This applies to restaurants across the country.

March 12

Coronavirus Information and Resources From the National Restaurant Association

An extensive guide provided by the National Restaurant Association pertaining to the coronavirus (COVID-19). You'll find FAQ's, actionable information and additional resources here. 

U.S. Department of Labor Announces New Guidance on Unemployment Insurance Flexibilities During COVID-19 Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Labor announced new guidance outlining flexibilities that states have in administering their unemployment insurance (UI) programs to assist Americans affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cancellations, Sick Leave, and Takeout: How Food Businesses Nationwide Are Handling Coronavirus

For these restaurants, the game isn't over. They're just making new rules. 

How Miami Restaurants and Bars Are Preparing for Coronavirus

Miami restaurants, like many across the country, are kicking their safety procedures up a notch by offering patrons hand sanitizers, sealing to-go orders shut and cleaning top to bottom. Here you will find an ongoing list of restaurants that have implemented safety measures in response to the coronavirus.

March 11

Restaurants Rethink Paid Sick-Leave Policies as Coronavirus Outbreak Spreads

The coronavirus outbreak has drawn attention to the 55% of service industry workers without sick pay. Many companies are reevaluating their sick-leave policies, offering it to all hourly employees. 

Restaurant Stocks Plunge Amid Growing Fears of Coronavirus Sales Problem

Concerns continue to grow over an economic slowdown. Data suggests customers are shifting rapidly to off-premise dining and avoiding going inside restaurants. Delivery sees a surge. 

COVID-19: Tips for Communicating with Investors in a Turbulent Market

5 tips to consider when communicating with investors in turbulent markets.

March 4

A Guide for Waiters and Restaurants Navigating Coronavirus

For those in the service industry, following these tips can help to greatly reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus.

March 3

How Will the New Coronavirus Impact the Restaurant and Wine Industries?

Industry executives expect a gradual improvement with consumption returning to normal levels toward the end of fiscal 2020. But until then, the restaurant and wine industries continue to be challenged by the effects of the coronavirus. Here's how some are coping.

 

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