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May 2020

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Curb Appeal: Restaurants Get Creative during Pandemic Closures

Who had even heard of the phrase “shelter in place” before we were confined to our homes 24-7? Or, “social distancing,” for that matter? And who could have predicted the restaurant industry with such tight margins could be squeezed even tighter?

From the Editor: Hand washing and Hand-wringing

I have enough food (some days a little too much), a roof over my head, a paycheck and meaningful work that I can do via a cell phone and laptop at home, so I count myself among the fortunate people in this new world order.

Server Speak: What Are You Doing to Stay Safe and Sane?

This month finding five people to share their thoughts and faces with us was challenging, so we’re reaching out to some new people and some familiar faces for their thoughts in troubled times.

Industry Voices

The thing I love about us is our survival abilities. Chefs are hustlers. We love to solve problems. We persevere through difficult times.

How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment benefits have been stepped up dramatically by both the state and federal governments to put money in the pockets of workers laid off or furloughed by COVID-19-related closures.

Coffee Talk

The James Beard Foundation delayed both the announcement of its next round of nominees for its coveted awards, as well as who the winners are until later in summer. The Twin Cities has a number of chefs up for awards.

An Update on Hell’s Kitchen’s ESOP

Cynthia Gerdes’ plan to cut back a bit on her hours and stress after she and her partner Steve Meyer, sold Hell’s Kitchen to their employees in a rare restaurant Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) deal came to a screeching halt with the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meritage Passes Stay-at-Home with Duck Sales

Farmers are affected by a once full pipeline that overnight dried up, just the same as broadline distributors and other vendors.

Understanding PPP Relief for Restaurants

After two weeks of shocking layoffs and store closures, beleaguered restaurant owners may finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sobering Thoughts to Keep a Safe Attitude

Before the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered restaurants and bars across the Twin Cities, the 1,300 restaurant workers whose employers offered mental health benefits through Serving Those Serving already were using the services at 3x the national rate.

Around Town

From masks to hand sanitizer, locals are joining the ‘war’ effort.

Chowgirls Redefines ‘Pop-up’ at Second Harvest

With a moratorium on large group gatherings, caters are sidelined just as their biggest season is about to kick-off.

Tips on Takeout Now and Reopening Later

Not every operation—and not every operator—is geared towards takeout or delivery.

“New Openings”: Message from Kalcon

No surprise here, we have no new openings to share with you this month. In our current lockdown, restaurant openings is a bit of an oxymoron.

The View from the Car Window

When times get tough—and can you think of tougher time than right now for the restaurant industry?—people get creative and supportive.

Franchisees Grapple with a Changing Industry

Now that states have mandated restaurants close their dining rooms due to COVID-19, drive-thrus represent 100 percent of business.

Commodities Report: How the Markets Are Doing

The commodity market volatility has continued during the last several weeks due to COVID-19.

By the Numbers: Finding Opportunities in Chaos

I know this may make me sound like the eternal optimist, but I do believe that there are some good opportunities for the restaurant industry during these difficult times.

Hospitality Minnesota: MRA Surveys on COVID-10 Impact

Before the shutdown, Hospitality Minnesota was surveying its members across all three industry sectors to understand the early impact of the novel coronavirus on their business and the data was already disturbing.

What’s Happening in the Delivery Side of Food

According to daily average user data, the COVID-19 crisis is not increasing sales for third-party restaurant delivery providers.

7 Tips for Starting Delivery

While many of the dine-in independents have shifted to a carry-out format, delivery is still an option worth investigating.

Ask the Expert: Attorney Matthew Duffy of MMB

What do I need to know about potential insurance coverage for claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Industry News: What Broadline Distributors Are Doing to Help

Even before the governor announced in-restaurant dining was to cease until further notice, broadline distributors were busy looking at ways to ensure the food they had at the ready for their customers didn’t go to waste.
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