A petition started by American Chefs on Change.org is close to garnering the 150,000 signatures it needs to press the US government to save the US restaurant industry.
The petition gained over 100,000 signatures in just 24 hours highlighting the sense of urgency facing the hospitality industry during the unfolding coronavirus pandemic.
Directed at governors, mayors, and legislators, the group is imploring them to to engage with local industry leaders and restaurant associations immediately to come to a swift plan to meaningfully give local restaurants the best chance for survival.
The measures they are calling for include:
Providing emergency employment benefits to all hourly and salaried workers who have been laid off or suffered or lost their pay for the length of this crisis
Waiving payroll tax
Endorsing rent and loan abatement for workers
Working with state liquor authorities to enable restaurants offering take out and delivery to also sell/deliver beer, wine and cocktails by the bottle
Waving zoning or permit restrictions to allow restaurants to temporarily use their spaces as boutique food and beverage markets, offering an alternative to overcrowded supermarkets and by extension continuing to pay their staff and support their farms and purveyors.
The petition is signed by some very big names in the US restaurant industry including: Will Guidara, David Kinch, Patrick O’Connell, Chris Shepherd, Nancy Silverton and Alice Waters.