2020 has been a challenging year for the hospitality industry. Restaurants, bars and other hospitality businesses around the world have struggled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and have had to manage significant service interruptions.
Yet, despite these obstacles, the food and beverage community is continuing to come together and provide support for those in need.
Sales are down for hospitality businesses, the number of customers that can visit their premises is significantly less, jobs are at risk and a large number of brands have already closed their doors - but that isn’t stopping the industry from giving back.
From employee relief funds to fundraisers for independent restaurant owners, here are just a few of the many great initiatives happening within the hospitality industry right now:
Stella Artois’ Rally for Restaurants
In an effort to bring people together to support local restaurants and bars during the COVID-19 pandemic, Stella Artois has been organizing Rally for Restaurants. This gift card program provides local hospitality establishments with immediate financial relief.
The initiative, which has been rolled out in 10 different countries, encourages people to buy a gift card that they can use at their local favourite bars or restaurants. Stella Artois adds an additional amount of money - such as $10 in Canada, for example - to the value of every gift card purchase, which goes directly to the restaurants, bars and pubs.
The National Restaurant Association's Employee Relief Fund
The National Restaurant Association’s Educational Foundation has launched the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF), which is helping more than 43,000 restaurant workers who have suffered financially due to the pandemic.
The association has partnered with industry icon, Guy Fieri, and more than 50 organizations to make the fund possible. As part of the fund $500 grants are being provided to restaurant workers in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
James Beard Foundation’s Open for Good campaign
The James Beard Foundation - a New York City-based national non-profit culinary arts organization named in honour of prolific food writer, teacher and cookbook author James Beard - launched its Open for Good campaign earlier this year.
The Open for Good campaign was created to help independent restaurants survive the COVID-19 crisis, rebuild for the future and thrive in the long term. It provides critical resources to help independent restaurants build the capacity to come back stronger, more equitable and more sustainable than before.
Avoiding food waste through giving
Successful inventory management can be especially difficult during COVID-19, particularly when you have no idea when you may be forced to close your doors and have no information on when the government may recommend diners not to eat out.
One restaurant in Calgary has found a way to give back to their local community, all while at the same time being able to offset any inventory lost to restrictions. With dine-in service making up about 90 percent of its business, Eggs Oasis has recently given away 500 free pick-up breakfasts made with excess inventory after dine-in service came to a halt in the Canadian city.
Seattle community helping to keep local hockey bar afloat
It’s not just the hospitality industry that’s launching initiatives to help support local businesses either, it’s also the communities that they serve. Earlier this month The Angry Beaver (Seattles ‘original hockey bar’) was closed for the second time this year due to COVID-19.
Yet the local community has started a fundraising initiative to keep the business afloat, as reported by both ESPN and the Seattle Times. A GoFundMe page has so far raised more than $34,400 (US) for the company, which will help the bar pay for rent.
Sculpture Hospitality is proud to work in an industry that supports independent businesses as well as those in need in the wider community. Have you heard of any other initiatives by those in the food and beverage sector, or do you organize a program yourself? Contact us today. We would love to hear more about them.