James Beard Foundation Works to Save Restaurant Industry


The James Beard Foundation team is working in various ways to help save the restaurant industry from complete collapse. They state that there are many things everyone can do to help during these times, whether you’re a diner or industry professional.

“Over the last 10 days we’ve seen hundreds of restaurants pivot from dine-in to take out to closing their doors,” The James Beard Foundation said. “Up to seven million people have been laid off and chefs and restaurant owners have become fluent in the ins and outs of disaster relief and applications for emergency aid.”

Here are some ideas and resources curated by James Beard Foundation:

Buy and Donate
“Most restaurants don’t have two to three months of capital in the bank to weather this storm. It is an industry that is always paying last month’s invoices today. It employs more than 16 million people. Those jobs, those businesses are at serious risk. Restaurants need people to give big tips to to-go staff, buy dining bonds, and gift certificates, and donate to employee relief funds.”

“Even if you’re not ordering take-out, you can think about the money you might have spent in a restaurant in March and consider donating it to the James Beard Foundation’s Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. This national fund—created with support of S. Pellegrino and PATRÓN tequila—is intended to help businesses weather this crisis and prepare to reopen.”

Call Your Governor
“Emergency unemployment benefits are becoming available. The Small Business Administration is releasing loan dollars. If you’re a small business (under 500 employees) you may qualify for emergency assistance through agencies in your state. We’ve compiled a list of state SBA links, state COVID-19 information and a handy list of governors and their contact information. ”

Call Congress, A Lot
“Economic recovery packages are moving in Congress. The James Beard Foundation knows our industry isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. We see promise in the work of Restaurant Opportunity Center, the National Restaurant Association, and the newly formed Independent Restaurant Coalition. There may be different types of relief needed but we are all united in one message: save restaurants.”

“Our industry’s economic impact is huge—16 million jobs and nearly a trillion dollars in spend. But we are also made up of unique businesses that hold up local economies in every town, county, and state in the United States. Call your members of Congress and remind them we are too important to ignore and too small to let fail.”

“This is the biggest crisis to hit our industry,” The James Beard Foundation said. “It demands a powerful and constant effort to save our beloved restaurants. It is time for us all to step up—every customer, every corporation, every member of Congress.”

“We at the James Beard Foundation look forward to being able to dine among friends. Until then, we will do everything we can to save the restaurant industry and everyone it supports, from dishwashers to bartenders and servers to cooks, farmers, and producers. Join us today. Do everything you can do to help us save restaurants.”

“As we discussed on Tuesday’s webinar, we’ve put together a toolkit focused on helping you advocate for yourselves and your community, for the urgent support you and your businesses need. These toolkits are now available here.

Within these toolkits you’ll find information on how to share your story and use your voice at both the state and federal levels. You’ll also find the contact information for your governors and your members of Congress, along with talking points and tips on how to share your story on social media, and more. Please share these tools with your networks and encourage others to do the same.

We’re working on more tools and will share as they become available. In the meantime, please refer to the following:

  • To help bring swift economic relief to essential culinary businesses, the Foundation has launched a fund to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need. More information on how to apply is coming soon, and will be available here. For immediate assistance or urgent questions, please email [email protected].
  • Sign up here if you are interested in further engaging with policymakers during this time.
  • If you are receiving this email, you are signed up to receive our industry communications. Encourage your network to sign up for these updates here.
  • Check out our ongoing list of more resources here.”
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