Indies are frustrated, angry and ready to fight after RRF failure

Independent restaurant operators say they are not giving up their political fervor following Thursday’s death of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, even though they may have to give up their restaurants.


How one indie has weathered the supply chain rollercoaster

Oklahoma City-based HumanKind Hospitality is still trying to figure out how to balance soaring costs with how much its customers will bear.

The National Restaurant Association and the Independent Restaurant Coalition both pushed for more aid to help the industry during the pandemic. But differing styles and disagreements between the two may have hampered the effort.

A grant program from American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation will help 25 small, independent restaurants that have been in business more than 25 years.

Despite the lifting of mask and vaccine mandates in many places, some operators say they’re sticking with their COVID-cautious practices—at least for now.

Independent operators are being pushed to the brink and are taking on mounting personal debt, according to survey results released by the Independent Restaurant Coalition, which is pressing Congress for more funding.

This time, operators simply can’t find enough healthy employees to staff their kitchens and dining rooms for service as the highly contagious omicron variant runs like wildfire through restaurants.

Seven Union Square Hospitality Group restaurants are closed until later this month and the multi-concept group will be requiring booster shots for eligible employees immediately, with diners requiring a booster starting Jan. 24.

Earlier this week, Baker Miller said it would require proof of booster shots for dine-in customers. But the café’s owners decided to shut the dining room entirely after receiving threats from anti-vaxxers.

Surging COVID cases among employees and customers are forcing restaurants to temporarily shut down during what is typically a busy holiday season. And the new year brings more uncertainty.

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