Did you know that the restaurant industry is on track to lose $80 billion in revenue by the end of April 2020? By now, more of us have become aware that the industry has been completely shifted as a whole due to Coronavirus.
The toll that this crisis has had on the industry has been hard and it may be worse before it gets better. How far will the challenge go?
Restaurants of all sizes and their employees are looking for relief and support. In this blog post, we’re going to cover some government programs and resources that can help you out.
Many businesses have begun to offer discounts and free services for the industry. Companies are waiving fees and offering promotions that restaurant workers could capitalize on.
The National Restaurant Association is dedicated to supporting the foodservice industry. They have partnered with ServSafe, ServSuccess, and the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation. These programs together will offer free training until the end of May.
ServSafe is currently offering free food safety online courses. They have free training videos on the safety precautions for delivery and takeout. Now until May 31st, the Food Handlers assessment is free.
In addition to this, ServSuccess is offering free Professional Restaurant Training. This is the time to renew or get assessments finished so you are ready to go when on-premise dining returns.
The American Hotel & Lodging Foundation is offering free online career development training. The training is to help workers return to the industry with advanced skills.
During these trying times, we also are trying our best to help. We are currently waiving monthly fees for two of our products. First, our restaurant management system, Guest Manager, can help you control your restaurant from home. We are also waiving the fees for our online ordering system. Together, these can help restaurants do what they do best and provide the services to ensure this.
Now, here are some programs and resources that can help the restaurant industry with financial support.
Financial Aid for Restaurants
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) can help small businesses keep or re-hire their employees on the payroll. $320 billion dollars was allocated as of Friday, April 24th, 2020, to replenish funds for the PPP. Small business owners can apply for up to 2.5 times their monthly average payroll.
After 2 months, you provide your lender with proof that the funds were used for payroll purposes and it will be forgiven. You may use 25% of the funds for other fixed expenses such as business rent and utilities. As long as 75% of the funds go towards payroll, the funds will be forgiven.
If not, then the funds will turn into a loan with a term of 2 years at a fixed interest rate of .5%.
In regards to your lender, it is recommended you apply with the bank you have a business account with or a small local bank in your area.
SBA Disaster Loan
The Small Business Administration (SBA) created the SBA Disaster Loan for up to 2 million dollars in working capital. This is for businesses that have been negatively harmed by the effects of COVID-19.
The loan has a term of 30 years and a fixed rate of 3.75%. When you apply, there is also an option for the Economic Injury Grant. This is an advance of up to 10,000 dollars that does not have to be paid back.
Note, if your business receives both the PPP and SBA Disaster loan, they both cannot go towards payroll. The SBA Disaster loan can then provide you with funds for other services. Due to the high volume of applications for these programs, it is recommended to apply as soon as possible.
For more information, here are SBA guidance and loan resources.
Relief Resources for Restaurants
At this time, restaurants are taking a hard toll on dealing with new regulations. Due to this, any and all help is appreciated. Here are a couple of relief resources that can provide aid during this time.
The James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to support small independent restaurants with financial help. Due to COVID-19, they would like to reduce the impact of financial stress that workers and communities have.
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Restaurant Worker Community Foundation
The Restaurant Worker Community Foundation (RWCF) created a COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund. This is set to help restaurants and workers affected by the crisis. The RWCF collects donations to provide aid to industry works and zero-interest loans for businesses.
The Dining Bond Initiative acts as a chance for people to show their continued support. A Dining Bond is like a savings bond. This allows for people to buy a “bond” at a certain discounted value and redeem in the future.
Relief Resources for Restaurants Workers
Foodservice employees are also deeply affected by the impact of COVID-19. Some restaurants have closed their doors or cut employee hours. So, we’ve collected a couple of relief resources that workers may be eligible for.
CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees
CORE Gives supports employees in the foodservice industry with children. They offer financial support to families that have undergone life-altering circumstances.
Restaurant Strong Fund
Samuel Adams and the Greg Hill Foundation have partnered up and created the Restaurant Strong Fund. This fund is to support restaurant industry workers affected by restaurant closures.
Another Round Another Rally
Another Round, Another Rally is offering help to hospitality workers that have lost their jobs or have had a shortage in hours due to the outbreak.
More resources to help the restaurant industry as a whole:
- Resource Directory from the National Restaurant Association
- Coronavirus Information and Resources from the National Restaurant Association
- CARES Act Summary
- James Beard Foundation list of National and Regional Relief Services
- Restaurant Aid tracking by state from Restaurant Dive
- RWCF Relief Resources
- List of Relief Funds from Eater
As you can see, the restaurant industry is in this together. We all must show our support and provide help when we can.
If you are able, support your local restaurants during this time. The biggest support you can get is from your customers and your strength.
With the shift of the restaurant industry, we have to do our best to keep our customers happy and safe. If you are seeking more help on how to deal with the effects of COVID-19 for your restaurant, check out our blog.
When the times comes, we will all be working towards recovery. Having the right tools, support, and mindset, will get you there.