Employees in related fields are already feeling the knock-on effects. In December, Albertsons Cos., the supermarket chain, started informing delivery drivers they’d be replaced by contractors. In California hundreds of Albertsons employees are being swapped for DoorDash Inc. workers, according to the United Food & Commercial Workers union.
The National Restaurant Association estimates more than 110,000 (or about 17%) of U.S. restaurants have gone into hibernation or out of business during the pandemic. The Kitchen Cafe in Boston was one of them. In this episode, we go inside the restaurant’s final days, and hear from co-owner Jayme Valdez about the financial and emotional cost of shutting down a dream.
Food Industry Policy
San Francisco Chronicle 2/18
All other states now allow indoor dining in some capacity, according to the National Restaurant Association, including many with much higher rates of coronavirus cases than California overall. New Mexico and New Jersey, as well as New York City, were some of the last holdouts. But after a winter surge that continues to show signs of slowing down, there’s a good chance the Bay Area’s dining rooms could open up again next month, even while schools remain largely closed and vaccines have not yet been widely distributed.
San Bernardino Sun 2/17
While we’re still in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic, at least some positive lessons are being learned, including the benefit of easing up on government rules and regulations. It’s far from revolutionary, but California legislators have introduced legislation that would make it easier for restaurants to set up outdoors, alcohol to be served outdoors and for restaurants to sell cocktails-to-go. We support such efforts.
On the Side
AGAINST ALL ODDS, A STREET VENDOR AND HIS FAMILY OPEN THEIR FIRST BRICK AND MORTAR RESTAURANT IN EAST LOS ANGELES
LA Taco 2/17
The TJ-style tacos al carbón restaurant stands on East Cesar Chavez Avenue and is just four minutes away from East L.A.’s historic landmark El Pino. And although the brick and mortar restaurant is new to the area, Tacos El Viejon is far from new to its customers. The owners Alex and his father Rey Velazquez, have been street vending in L.A. and running their taco stand since 2017. For them, the new opening is symbolic of what many street vendors hope to accomplish one day.
Food Business News 2/17
In December Sysco launched a program called Restaurants Rising, which waived delivery minimums on regularly scheduled order delivery days. The company isn’t pulling back on delivery frequency as part of the program, something many foodservice distributors did as volumes decreased.