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Current Restaurant Restrictions and Capacity By State
Coronavirus cases in the United States are growing. On Friday the U.S. recorded over 99,000 new cases – the highest single day total recorded by any country. With concerns rising over the upward trend in cases, restaurants across the country are beginning to see a new wave of restrictions. We're breaking down the latest restaurant news by state...
A Look at the Pandemic’s Impact on Restaurant Jobs in 2020
The National Restaurant Association provided a look at how the coronavirus pandemic impacted employment at eating and drinking places throughout 2020.
Overall, the restaurant and foodservice sector was expected to provide 15.6 million jobs in 2020, accounting for 10% of payroll jobs in the economy. Those numbers would take a turn for the worst as the pandemic began in March.
Starting in March, millions of people were left without work as lockdowns and stay-at-home orders were implemented, leading to mass layoffs and furloughs...
REPORTER: Chicago Gets Creative to Help Restaurant Industry
This article was originally featured in the Winter 2021 Edition of Urner Barry's Reporter magazine.
The restaurant industry has encountered its share of adversity during the COVID-19 pandemic. From lockdowns to dine-in restrictions, the industry has had to roll with the ever-changing landscape. Many restaurants have survived thus far by pivoting away from their standard way of business in favor of al fresco dining. Conventional patios, sidewalks, parking lots and even streets have been re-imagined for today’s dining customer. Outdoor dining has been an attractive way for...
Darden Restaurants Reports Fiscal 2021 Second Quarter Results
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE:DRI) today reported its financial results for the second quarter ended November 29, 2020.
Second Quarter 2021 Financial Highlights, Comparisons to Second Quarter Last Year
Despite COVID Surges, US Restaurant Transaction Declines in November Improved Slightly from October
Even with COVID cases surging throughout the U.S. and some states reducing restaurant capacity, customer transaction declines at major restaurant chains improved in November from October to -8% compared to a year ago, a 1-point gain from October’s -9% decline, reports The NPD Group. This improvement was aided by major quick service restaurant chains’ proficiency in offering off-premises services, like carry-out, drive-thru, and delivery. Transaction declines at quick service restaurant chains, which represent the bulk of industry transactions, were down -7%...
US Foods Introduces New COVID-19 Resources to Help Restaurant Operators Address Winter Challenges
US Foods Holding Corp. (NYSE: USFD) announced today the introduction of its “Make It This Winter” platform. The platform offers a collection of valuable resources, including one-on-one consultations with US Foods experts, informational webinars, new outdoor dining products, and updated online materials and tools for restaurant operators to tackle the ongoing challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With colder weather setting in and new restrictions going into effect across the country, our ongoing commitment to helping restaurant operators adapt during the pandemic has never been more important,” said Jim Osborne, senior vice president of customer strategy and innovation at US Foods...
U.S. Restaurant Chain Customer Transaction Declines Stabilize at -9% Compared to Year Ago in October
Customer transaction declines at major U.S. restaurant chains held steady at -9% every week in October compared to same weeks year ago, reports The NPD Group. Quick service restaurant chains, which have been able to leverage their off-premises operations during the pandemic, also stabilized transaction declines at -9% throughout the month. Full service restaurant chains, which are more heavily reliant on dine-in services, saw transaction declines fluctuate from -16% in the first week of October to -14% in the last full week of the month, according to NPD’s CREST® Performance Alerts, which provides a rapid weekly view of chain-specific transactions and share trends for 75 quick service, fast casual, midscale, and casual dining chains representing 53% of the commercial restaurant traffic in U.S...
Bloomin’ Brands Reports Strengthening Sales Trends
Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLMN) today reported results for the third quarter 2020 (“Q3 2020”) compared to the third quarter 2019 (“Q3 2019”).
Statement from David Deno, Chief Executive Officer
Our priorities remain unchanged as we are focused on taking care of our people and serving food in an environment that protects both team members and customers. Maintaining a motivated, well trained, and engaged employee base that is committed to providing a safe dining experience is critical to our long-term success. The decision not to furlough any employees during the pandemic reinforced this principle. This decision is paying off and has been a big part of our success in driving results throughout the pandemic...
Survey: COVID Led to Surge in Off-Premise Dining, Other Operational Changes for Franchisees
The 2020 Restaurant Franchise Pulse survey, conducted by TD Bank, found that coronavirus lockdowns and unwillingness to eat out at restaurants led restaurant franchisees to pivot to a pick-up and delivery model.
Just shy of 75% of survey respondents prioritized off-premise dining with enhanced delivery and online or mobile ordering methods due to COVID-19. This led to a 19% jump in the percentage of sales linked to off-premise orders.
An interesting note was that although 86% of respondents had delivery...
DoorDash Helping Restaurants Prepare for Winter With $2 Million in Cold Weather Grants
DoorDash might be focused on delivery and take-out, but they are doing what they can to help restaurants that are struggling with dine-in.
In March, when the coronavirus began to spread across the U.S., restaurants were forced to shut down their dining rooms and rely solely on take-out. Since then many states have allowed restaurants to reopen, but some are only allowed outdoor seating or limited indoor capacity. While that wasn't a big problem over the summer, the impending cold weather has...
Restaurant Industry Awaiting Next Round of Aid; Could Receive $120 Billion Through HEROES Act
Earlier this week Democrats from the House of Representatives introduced their plan for another round of COVID-19 economic relief, dubbed the HEROES Act. The proposal would provide $2.2 trillion in relief and includes the RESTAURANTS Act, featuring $120 billion in grants for independent restaurants, bars and other foodservice outlets.
The Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) urged the House of Representatives to pass the relief proposal to “give America's 500,000 independent restaurants a fighting chance to survive...
The Hartman Group's Shelley Balanko on Consumer Buying Trends in a Pandemic
During extraordinary times, insights into consumer behaviors become more vital than ever to businesses. The Hartman Group, a food culture consultancy, provides such trends, insights, and strategic counsels to professionals in the food and beverage industry. The company conducts its own primary research with expertise in areas including sustainability and the health and wellness consumer.
In 2012, the Hartman Group developed the Eating Occasions Compass, a database that documents the who, what, when, where, and why of eating occasions in the United States...
Winter Is Coming: US Restaurant Reopening Faces Next Pandemic Challenge
While outdoor seating has helped mitigate revenue losses caused by restrictions on dine-in foodservice during the COVID-19 pandemic to an extent, restaurants face an uncertain fall and winter, with further layoffs expected across the hospitality industry as temperatures fall, outdoor dining becomes uncomfortable, and the threat of COVID-19 continues to loom.
How are foodservice operators adapting to the shifting market environment and what effect are these changes having on foodservice products? US Restaurant Reopening: COVID 19 Impact on Supplies, a new study from The Freedonia Group, analyzes the reopening of restaurants in the...
U.S. Restaurant Dollar and Traffic Declines Ease in August as Consumers Gain Comfort in Dining Out
While August restaurant trends reflect an environment in which slightly less than 25% of restaurant units were under restrictions for on-premises dining during the course of the month, similar to June and July, the rate of traffic and dollar declines for the month eased slightly to -10% and -9%, respectively, compared to same period year ago, reports The NPD Group.
“As the summer progressed and mandated restrictions were lifted, an increasing number of consumers became more comfortable dining out based on the safety protocols restaurants put in place,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America...
Consumers Itching for Night Out but Restaurants Limited with Winter Weather on the Horizon
As consumers grow weary of eating at home and ordering takeout or delivery, restaurants in some of the states hit the hardest by the coronavirus are beginning to allow indoor dining, providing a glimmer of hope for operators as they look for a return to normalcy.
At the same time, many restaurants are limited by occupancy regulations and lack of real estate for outdoor dining capabilities. Plus, the cooler weather will be less appealing in the coming weeks...
Sysco Introduces ‘Foodie Solutions’ to Help Customers Approach Foodservice During COVID-19 Pandemic
As foodservice operators continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic and states begin to lift restrictions like indoor dining, Sysco has launched Foodie Solutions, a platform created to support foodservice operates during this time.
Through perspective from supporting restaurants and operators across the U.S. Sysco identified essential tools to help customers respond quickly to the changing environment and new trends that have developed during COVID-19 shutdowns.
“Foodie Solutions’ comprehensive suite of toolkits is designed to help operators drive traffic..."
US Foods Launches New Ghost Kitchens Program
The future of foodservice doesn’t necessarily involve a restaurant store front.
US Foods is getting a jump on the post-COVID world of foodservice with the launch of US Foods Ghost Kitchens, a program designed to “guide restaurant operators every step of the way when opening their own operation.”
Restaurants were forced to shut their doors when coronavirus cases began to spread in the U.S. in mid-March. With restrictions in place that prevented in-house dining, restaurants were forced to rely on pickup or delivery. Those that have been allowed to...
Restaurant Recovery Continues at Snail’s Pace in July as Consumers Await a Night Out
Recent findings have shown that as restaurant sales across the country improved just slightly in July with consumers both eager to eat out and worried that their favorite restaurant may be forced to shut down due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
According to the National Restaurant Association, consumers did spend more money at restaurants in July, however, the uptick was only a 5% jump from June as some states rolled back reopening due to an increase of COVID cases. In the previous two months, the jumps were over 25%...
Under HEALS Act, Over Half of Restaurants Ineligible for PPP Loans
The National Restaurant Association is looking to change a threshold in the Senate HEALS Act which will currently make 55% of restaurants ineligible for another Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.
Via a letter to Congressional leadership, the Association noted that small businesses with less than 300 employees will need to show 50% in quarterly gross receipts to apply for another round of PPP loans. At that level, over half of restaurants will be ineligible for the loans.
In order to get more restaurants the assistance they need, the Association...
Technomic Updates Their 2020 Foodservice Trend Predictions For Today's 'New Environment'
Back in October 2019, Technomic, a company that provides research, insights and strategic consulting for the foodservice industry, released their take on trends to watch for in 2020. Their report highlighted predictions on food, flavor, operations and consumer attitudes. But what Technomic — and the rest of the world for that matter — didn’t take into account was that a pandemic would sweep the globe and upend the food industry.
A lot has changed since the beginning of the year, and now Technomic is taking a look at how their...
How the HEALS Act Aims to Help Restaurants
It’s no secret that the restaurant industry was and remains among the hardest hit sectors during the coronavirus pandemic.
The NPD Group reported on July 29 that the surging COVID-19 cases and rollbacks in the re-opening plans from states across the country have stalled restaurant recovery.
As the Senate works to pass its next round of federal COVID-19 relief, the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability protection, and Schools (HEALS) Act, multiple provisions have been introduced to help assist the struggling industry...
Yelp Report Reveals Increase in Permanent Restaurant Closures
In April, after most of the United States had been in shelter-in-place or under “lockdown” orders for a month, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) reported that sales losses for the restaurant industry could total up to $240 billion by year-end. Their research, which included a survey of more than 6,500 restaurant operators, found that 4 in 10 restaurants in April were closed. Now, four months into the pandemic, a new report released by Yelp reveals that the number of permanent restaurant closures is only increasing...
TGI Fridays Expands Butcher Shop Menu As More People Cook From Home
As COVID-19 cases increase across the U.S., some states are taking action by introducing new restrictions for restaurants. With a second wave potentially causing closures in the future, TGI Fridays is banking on their new Butcher Shop concept to keep hungry customers satisfied and safe in the comfort of their own home.
The chain restaurant actually launched their Butcher Shop concept back in April at the peak of the pandemic in the U.S. At that time, with many states banning in-door dining, and...
Lack of Indoor Dining Continues to Limit Restaurants, Despite Uptick in June Sales
According to the National Restaurant Association, restaurant sales saw a boost in June, marking the second straight month of increased activity.
June was the best month for eating and drinking places since the pandemic began, with $47.4 billion in sales (on a seasonally-adjusted basis) but it was still about $18 billion below sales posted in January and February.
Based on unadjusted data from the Census Bureau, sales levels at eating and drinking places were down a total of $116 billion from March through...
Ghost Kitchens on the Rise in a Post-COVID World
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the restaurant industry hard, with the Independent Restaurant Coalition reporting that 85% of independent restaurants may go out of business by the end of the end of the year. While some restaurants were forced to temporarily close, others focused on making sales through delivery and takeout. And with COVID-19 changing the way that some people eat out, some restaurants, like Pokeworks, are looking to the future.
Pokeworks launched in 2015 and has grown to over 50 locations all over the country...
NYC Pulls Back on Indoor Dining as U.S. Sees Biggest One-Day COVID-19 Spike Since Start of Pandemic
New York City is not taking any chances when it comes to the coronavirus. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that indoor dining will no longer move ahead as scheduled.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been reopening the state by regions. New York City, which was one of the regions hit the hardest by the coronavirus, was expected to enter Phase 3 of reopening on Monday, July 6. Phase 3 was supposed to include indoor dining at no more...
Seven Lessons Foodservice Can Learn from a Pandemic
As states begin to reopen, restaurants are adapting to a new normal to welcome diners back. These adaptions include providing outdoor seating, incorporating stricter sanitary procedures, and paperless menus. According to a recent report by Datassential, there are seven lessons foodservice operators can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic that will benefit their business going forward.
The first lesson is goodbye fear, hello caution. As more places begin to ease coronavirus restrictions, consumers are feeling more comfortable returning to public spaces if certain safety measures are met. After restrictions are lifted, about 63% of those surveyed feel safe eating at a restaurant with outdoor dining. Around 54% feel safe returning to a convenience store, and the same percentage feel comfortable with...
New Jersey Postpones Indoor Dining Indefinitely as Other States Pause Reopening
Just days before New Jersey restaurants were set to reopen indoor dining at 25% capacity, Governor Phil Murphy announced that the state would be postponing indoor dining indefinitely.
“UPDATE: INDOOR DINING WILL NO LONGER RESUME ON THURSDAY,” Murphy posted in a series of messages on social media Monday afternoon. “We had planned to loosen restrictions this week. However, after COVID19 spikes in other states driven by, in part, the return of indoor dining, we have decided to postpone indoor dining indefinitely...
New Legislation Introduced to Help Independent Restaurants Recover from COVID-19 Challenges
The Real Economic Support That Acknowledges Unique Restaurant Assistance Needed to Survive (RESTAURANTS) Act of 2020 was introduced on June 18 calling for $120 billion to help independent restaurants recover from the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Introduced by a bipartisan coalition of politicians including U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Representatives Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa, the legislation will create a fund to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus and help reemploy...
As Restaurants Begin to Reopen, Operators Expect a Long Road Ahead
According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry has lost $120 billion in sales over the last three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.
The Association said stay-at-home policies led to losses of $30 billion in March, $50 billion in April, and another $40 billion in May.
Most of the country is beginning to reopen dining at some capacity. States are allowing limited capacity while others are set to allow outdoor dining and there is hope that restaurants...
Burger King Restaurants Launch the Impossible Croissan’wich
Burger King today announced it is lauurger nching the new Impossible Croissan’wich sandwich nationwide. After a successful test earlier this year in select U.S. markets, BK guests across the country can now get the same Croissan’wich sandwich they know and love with a delicious Impossible breakfast plant-based patty. This new menu item makes Burger King the first national restaurant to offer an Impossible breakfast plant-based patty on a breakfast sandwich. The all-new, limited-time-only Impossible Croissan’wich features a toasted flaky croissant, fluffy eggs, melted American cheese and a seasoned breakfast plant-based patty from Impossible Foods...
Sysco Launches New Interactive Virtual ‘Restaurant Readiness Tool’ for Operators
Today, Sysco announced the launch of its Restaurant Readiness Tool, a first-of-its kind simulation that intuitively provides a comprehensive view of best practices, key considerations and essential supplies for operators re-opening their restaurants as COVID-19 stay-at-home orders continue to ease.
The Restaurant Readiness Tool enables operators to tour a virtual restaurant where they experience an immersive, 360-degree view of the establishment. Users can navigate through the restaurant, clicking various icons for each area and foodservice role to learn about best practices for ensuring the health and safety of both guests and employees...
Taco Bell Owner Sues Grubhub, Claiming it Violated Distribution Agreement
Taco Bell owner Yum Brands is suing Grubhub, claiming that it violated its distribution agreement.
Yum bought a 3% stake in the third-party delivery app in 2018 as more national chains looked to lift sales by offering delivery. As part of the deal, the two signed a contract that required the delivery app to give Yum favorable pricing and service levels for thousands of Taco Bell and KFC restaurants, which are largely operated by franchisees...
Consumers to Take Cautious Approach as Restaurants Reopen
With the United States beginning to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurant operators are eagerly awaiting consumers to walk back through their doors.
Americans have been stuck in their houses for months and with many ready to spend time out of the house, the foodservice industry hopes they are craving not only a good meal but a night out as well.
However, a recent survey from the restaurant discovery platform Zagat indicates that most consumers are still unwilling to sit down in a restaurant for an extended period of time...
Who Bought Grubhub? A look at Just Eat Takeaway.com
On Wednesday news broke that Grubhub was being acquired by Just Eat Takeaway.com in a $7.3 billion deal. The acquisition news came as a shock as Uber had reportedly been in negotiations with the food delivery company.
So, who is Just Eat Takeaway.com?
Takeaway.com was founded in 2000 by its CEO, Jitse Groen. The site, Thuisbezorgd.nl, was initially launched in the Netherlands and was one of the world’s first online food delivery marketplaces. By 2011 the name was changed to Takeaway.com, and since then they’ve been...
April Restaurants Sales Hit Lowest Point in 35 Years
According to the National Restaurant Association, consumer spending at eating and drinking establishments was at its lowest level since October 1984, when adjusted for inflation.
In the month of April, sales at eating and drinking establishments reached $32.4 billion, on a seasonally-adjusted basis according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In January, sales were more than double April’s mark at $65.4 billion.
April sales were the smallest in volume since March 2005, but when adjusting for inflation it was the lowest mark in 35 years...
An Updated List of Restaurant Dine-In Guidelines And Opening Dates for Every State
The dining experience is going to be looking a lot different in a post-coronavirus world.
Back in March states began to close restaurant dining rooms in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Now, over a month later, some states are beginning to reopen the economy, which in some cases allows restaurants to once again offer in-house dining. However, with no COVID-19 vaccine, and the coronavirus continuing to spread throughout the country, busy waiting areas and packed dining rooms are..
CDC Provides Guidelines for Reopening Restaurants and Bars During COVID-19 Pandemic
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines to help foodservice businesses like restaurants and bars reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDC urged businesses to “check with state and local health officials and other partners to determine the most appropriate actions while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community.”
As restaurants consider reopening, the CDC noted two questions business owners should ask, the first being, “Will reopening be consistent with applicable state and local orders..."
A Look at How Disney Plans on Reopening Their Parks and Restaurants
For almost two months SeafoodNews has been reporting on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, including the impact on foodservice on cruise lines and at amusement parks. Now, with multiple states reopening the economy, we’re taking a deeper look into what the reopening of Disney’s properties will look like.
In 2018 attendance at the top 20 North American amusement parks reached nearly 160 million. Disney World’s Magic Kingdom alone brought in 20 million visitors. And while admissions makes up a majority of revenue at...
Most Restaurants Expecting Slow Build in Business as America Recovers from the Coronavirus Pandemic
As states begin to reopen and hope appears to be on the horizon for the foodservice industry, a survey from the National Restaurant Association shows that restaurant operators still feel there is a long road ahead.
According to the response from the Association’s April survey, operators expect their sales, employment and capital spending levels to remain low for the remainder of 2020.
The latest numbers from research firms like Technomic and the NPD Group, indicate sales at foodservice moving in the right direction...
State Reopenings Provide Opportunity for Restaurants as Transactions Increase at a Crawl
Transactions at U.S. restaurant chains improved for the second week in a row, according to the NPD Group. For the week ending April 26, total customer transactions were down 32% compared to a 36% decline the prior week.
In the quick service sector, restaurants were down 30% in the week ending April 26 compared to the same time last year, while full service restaurants saw an ever so slight improvement, declining 71% versus 72% last week, according to CREST Performance Alerts...
How Restaurants Are Reopening After States Lift Coronavirus Restrictions
In March restaurants across the U.S. were forced to close their dining rooms in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Now, with the government attempting to reopen the economy, some states are allowing restaurants to once again open their doors - but with some restrictions in place.
For the most part, the restrictions apply to almost any business. Workers need to be screened for any sign of illness, and those who display any signs of being sick are not permitted to work...
FDA Shares Best Practices for Retail, Restaurant and Delivery Services Operators During COVID-19
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has shared information about best practices for operators of retail, restaurant and associated pick-up and delivery services during the coronavirus pandemic.
The information shared by the FDA addressed critical considerations for how foods available at retail can be safely handled and delivered to consumers. Also included are considerations for employee health, cleaning and sanitizing and personal protective equipment (PPE).
The FDA noted that this information is not a comprehensive list and encourages stakeholders to consult references...
An Updated List of Every State That Has Closed Restaurants Due to the Coronavirus
Editor's note: This story was updated at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 26.
With cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the U.S. continuing to grow, a number of states are taking action to stop the spread. Lawmakers across the country have implemented bans on restaurants and bars, as well as large gatherings. Some states have yet to take such action, but restaurants on an individual level are choosing to shutter for the time being.
Meanwhile, President Trump recommended on Monday afternoon that people avoid...
Sysco Gives Update on Covid-19 Related Business; Donating 2.5 Million Meals Over Next 4 Weeks
Global foodservice distribution company Sysco has released an update on their finances related to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. According to the company, their “strong balance sheet provides meaningful financial flexibility for the company to navigate current challenges in the ‘food-away-from-home’ market resulting from the spread of Covid-19 and subsequent actions taken across the country to increase social distancing.”
Sysco reports that they have approximately $2 billion cash on hand as of March 20, including a recent...
Coronavirus: 3,000 U.S. Jobs Already Publicly Cut, 9 Million More Threatened as Restaurants Close
Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. reported that coronavirus-related job cuts reached 3,634, with an additional 9 million jobs threatened in the leisure and hospitality sector.
In Challenger’s Job Cuts Report, which tracks publicly announced job cuts through company announcements, media reports, and SEC filings, did not include layoffs from bars and restaurants that were shut down across 13 states.
"We are certainly beginning to see the cracks in the foundation. Slowing demand, brought on by the need for Americans to practice social distancing..."
Cargill Survey: At-Home Learning is Changing Parents Buying Habits as School Meals Off the Table
Current Restaurant Restrictions and Capacity By State
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