For so many, the new restaurant recovery assistance plan couldn’t come soon enough. The restaurant industry’s strength and persistence through the pandemic have personally placed this industry at the top of my total “bad@$$” list, with good reason too. Billions of people and businesses were on the brink of a total loss. However, for many, the fight to keep food on the table was not over until there was a resolve. The restaurant industry faced ongoing challenges during the pandemic. One of those challenges was facing the difficult decision to either remain open or close. Unfortunately, finances became significant roadblocks. With this, a dedicated, devoted, and talented group banded together. This band of restaurateur leaders known as the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) has fought fork-and-knife, i.e., day-and-night, to help the restaurant industry. Read on to see what restaurant leaders are saying about the new rescue plan.
Defying all of the Odds
So, between the government requiring restaurants and bars to shut down and the financial burden, it wouldn’t be very reasonable to say we, as an economy were fearless. The truth is, whether you were a patron of all things food and beverage, a restaurant owner, or a staff member, this pandemic changed a lot. Yet, even as the media portrayed the silver lining as black, the clouds slowly cleared. With this, the Independent Restaurant Coalition invited all of those willing to speak up to the plate. The IRC not only deserves their current top spot in Google SEO rankings, but they earned their moment in D.C. as Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer, Rep declared,
“Without the IRC, I don’t know if it would have gotten done at all. The IRC designed the bill to work well. We’ll stick with the IRC to make sure it’s implemented quickly,” – Schumer.
It’s not over until the head chef sings. The Independent Restaurant Coalition’s (IRC) mission is to save independent restaurants and bars by providing a strong, unified voice on legislative, regulatory, and policy issues that affect the restaurant industry; and provide advocacy, advice, networking, and information to members. These leaders are passionate chefs and restaurant owners from around the country. With their dedication and community members’ help, the government finally listened to their request for change.
One Year One Goal
March 18, 2020, marked the beginning of the pandemic. That same year, the IRC originated. Yesterday, March 18, 2021, officially marked the coalition’s year anniversary. It’s remarkable to see the impact these leaders were able to make in such a relatively short amount of time. With all of the turmoil going on around the country, it makes you wonder: what are restaurant leaders saying about the new rescue plan? Here’s what Tom Colicchio, a leader in the restaurant industry, has to say.
This group did not exist a year ago — when you think about doing what we did in a year, this bill is unprecedented — Every single person on this call. Every single member of the IRC. I love these people. I would go to war with them.
See, this is why the restaurant industry is incredible. It’s not that often you get a band together, one so strong, a pandemic can’t even tear it apart. The previous program failed to help the majority of restaurants the right way. Now, and with the unified voices of the IRC, Congress is currently assisting countless restaurants in surviving and thriving. More than that, they are helping new female business owners and veterans get their window of opportunity to succeed. Hopes and dreams are being reborn at the prospect of a profound industry rising to the top once more. As I travel on my Fliptable journey, meeting so many excellent restaurant professionals, I hear about what restaurant leaders say about the new rescue plan. From this, I’ve gathered that the majority is hopeful and excited for new beginnings.
New Year With a New Plan
The previous CARES Act under the PPP left restaurants having to come up with a means to pay back a large sum of money in little time. Additionally, it didn’t cater to those smaller “ma-and-pop” places that we locals love. The IRC set out to change this immediately. These leaders knew the expectations were not fair, and without proper reevaluation, many communities wouldn’t stand a chance. UNLESS.
I implored Congress to find a way to help restaurants. Today, I can confidently say that Congress heard me, – Cohen, 2021.
The New Rescue Plan Will Cater to Women and Veterans
Furthermore, if you’re a smaller establishment, you’re in luck. If you’re not part of an affiliated group with more than 20 locations, grants are available. In the new plan, women and veterans will be given priority during the first 21 days. That’s a big step for the federal government to take, considering incentives for female-owned businesses didn’t exist before. Now, funding opportunities allow restaurants to remain open and pop-up as the economy opens back up and the world becomes comfortable leaving their homes again. It’s a relief to enjoy a night-out, observing the significant change already in the number of people still choosing to sit-down and dine-in at restaurants. I see joy. Kids are playing with their chicken nuggets. Couples celebrating their special moments and tomorrows, and I see it all coming back more vital than ever. This is a vision I can’t shake; it’s also a vision that keeps me passionate about supporting this industry.
Restaurants Are Opening Throughout the United States
Moreover, contrary to the belief that all restaurants are failing and closing down, new restaurants pop up. According to a trusted resource, 79.78% of diners are open for seated reservations in the United States. That’s not too shabby for a country in a pandemic. The percentages are increasing each day, and many restaurants are back up to 50%. Safety measures are still reasonably in place to keep patrons comfortable and businesses protected. Here’s a glance at some data to show how the economy has evolved.
A Big Thank You to The IRC
I want to give a big heartfelt “thank you” to the IRC for their dedication and persistence. The time and the perseverance your leadership showed are astounding. What you took action upon will now help independent restaurants, bars, cafes, food trucks, caterers, breweries, distilleries, and so many others devastated by COVID-19. It didn’t occur to me how wonderful the restaurant industry was until about two years ago. When I went out to dinner with my family and friends, I didn’t see the grit and the talent that made-up the FOH and BOH. I sat down to enjoy a meal. Now, having met with restaurant owners, bar owners, bakeries, and brewmasters, I can say that the food and beverage industry is not only strong but unbelievably supportive. Not one day is the same, and at the end-of-the-day, you left feeling like there’s more to it than meets the eye. It can be challenging to see the importance of restaurants when you look at them from a smoky lens.
I hope the IRC becomes a permanent fixture for restaurants across the country and in D.C. – Rep. Earl Blumenauer
I have sat down and listened to the stories of so many restaurateurs. As I listened, I noticed a trend. I asked each person I sat down with, “why do you do what you do?” Here’s a response that stood out to me.
I do this because this establishment has been in my family for generations; I love it and believe that food and family always go together. The idea of giving up on this would be like giving up on my family, and I can’t do that.
Anything is Possible With Good Leadership
We did it! Restaurants to bars. To cafes and breweries, the economy is bouncing back. Restaurants will reopen and pop up in areas around the country. If I had one piece of solid advice for my readers, it would be to go out. Get out and support this fantastic industry. I bet you’re missing that sports bar that serves up the best wings and cold beer. It’s time you enjoy your favorite glass of wine with your significant other over a 5-Star delicious meal. Better yet, take your family out.
Fliptable in the Apple Store and Google Play Store
We haven’t led up. The Fliptable App is now available in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. Our team is proud and is already making waves like the IRC to solve restaurant paint points. The first paint point, especially now, is the hiring process that restaurant managers go through. The second pain point is for job seekers. We solve for that time you spend looking for a job. Now, you can easily access the top restaurants in North America with a swift swipe left or right. For restaurateurs, we’ve made the process of looking for a restaurant job easier. We also have some excellent new features coming, so be on the lookout for them within the app. For those already in the app. Awesome! You’re ahead-of-the-game. From this pandemic, we grew more assertive. Six months from now, I would be interested to see what restaurant leaders are saying about the new rescue plan. The restaurant industry is back, and Fliptable is here to help.