Roll Call 1/25
The battered restaurant industry has been pushing for months for bipartisan legislation that would create a $120 billion fund offering grants to restaurants to cover revenue shortfalls resulting from the pandemic and forced shutdowns. But when President Joe Biden unveiled his $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan this month, the proposed restaurant fund was nowhere to be found. Instead, Grimes and other restaurant owners found what they considered to be an unwelcome surprise: a plan to more than double the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
While small business owners are cheering President Joe Biden’s plans to direct more aid to a Main Street that has been ravaged by the pandemic, they’re also debating another of his pledges — hiking the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Workers’ rights groups are cheering the move, but advocates for America’s smallest businesses are warning such an increase could stall an already challenging economic recovery on the road back to stability from the health crisis.
Food Industry Policy
More than 110,000 eating and drinking establishments closed last year, either temporarily or for good, and 2.5 million restaurant industry jobs disappeared, according to a new report that tallies the devastating toll of the pandemic.
The Orange County Register 1/25
Roll out the heaters, set the tables and open all the umbrellas: Patio dining is back. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Monday announcement ending stay-at-home orders and a curfew in California means local restaurants will be able to offer outdoor service again, even though Orange County remains in the most restrictive purple tier.
On the Side
McDonald’s bringing back Spicy Chicken McNuggets, Mighty Hot Sauce for a limited time starting Feb. 1
USA Today 1/25
The hot nuggets debuted for their first run in mid-September and it was the first flavor McDonald’s USA introduced to the McNugget since the product debuted in 1983. The nuggets are breaded with a tempura coating made of both cayenne and chili peppers, and the sauce combines crushed red pepper, spicy chilis and savory garlic.
QSR Magazine 1/25
The Restaurant of the Future 6.0 is about the crucial importance of differentiation. The consumer has already made the decision to harshly judge their choice of restaurants and to do it by a different set of criteria than before. Their behaviors will get even more discerning as we begin to transition from COVID-19 to whatever the “new normal” will be. There have been plenty of thoughts, theories, and predictions, but we believe the road to success will require operators and suppliers to be highly flexible in order to adjust to the evolution ahead.