Orleans Parish will return to a Modified Phase 2, effective Friday morning, January 29, 2021. Orleans will remain in this phase through Friday, February 19.
The Modified Phase 2 includes the following provisions for restaurants:
Today, Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association released the following statement on the formal introduction of the “Raise the Wage Act,” legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $15 per hour over five years and eliminate the tip credit for servers.
“The Raise the Wage Act imposes an impossible challenge for the restaurant industry. While other businesses on Main Street are starting to see a recovery, restaurants across the country are struggling to stay open amidst indoor dining bans or limits that have been in place for ten months. The industry has laid off 2.5 million workers as a result of the pandemic, and 1 in 6 restaurants have shuttered.
“Our industry runs on a 3-5% pre-tax profit margin in a good year – during a pandemic is not the time to impose a triple-digit increase in labor costs. Far too many restaurants will respond by laying off even more workers or closing their doors for good. As the pandemic has highlighted, the economic realities of each state are very different. A nationwide increase in the minimum wage will create insurmountable costs for many operators in states where restaurant jobs are most needed for recovery.
“The elimination of the tip credit will cut the take-home wages of thousands of tipped employees who make far above the proposed minimum hourly wage. These skilled hospitality professionals generally earn between $19-25 dollars per hour and have made clear many times before that they support a tipped minimum wage.
“The restaurant industry needs time to recover, but at the same time, the National Restaurant Association and our members are ready to have a conversation about a balanced way to address wage levels in the foodservice industry. We hope that Congress and the Administration will appreciate the unique impact any change would have on the economic recovery of both our workers and restaurant operators.”
Here is a broad explanation of bill details:
The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.
Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.
Eligible entities include:
The National Restaurant Association released Public Policy Principles for Third-Party Delivery (Principles) that define best practices for third-party delivery to guide lawmakers in developing public policy. The release of the Principles culminates a year-long effort by the Association to develop national guidelines based on the experiences of restaurant operators of all sizes. The Principles represent the first time the restaurant industry and third-party delivery companies have come together and agreed on a framework for their relationship.
Delivery represents one of the most important segments of growth for the restaurant industry. In a National Restaurant Association online survey of 1,000 adults conducted Dec. 7-9, 2020, 70% of adults say they ordered delivery from a restaurant and 40% had used a third-party delivery company for their delivery. The pandemic has accelerated restaurant customers’ comfort with technology, and with that new level of access comes a lasting desire for easier ways to satisfy their pent-up demand for their favorite restaurant meals.
“Even before the pandemic, delivery – and decisions related to delivery – had major impacts on restaurant operations,” said Mike Whatley, vice president for State and Local Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “Until now, the relationship between restaurants and third-party delivery companies lacked a national framework to protect restaurants. These new Principles, which center around permission and transparency, add consistency and structure that will benefit all restaurants. This agreement represents an important first step in an ongoing dialogue between restaurants and third-party delivery companies about ways to improve our relationship going forward.”
The seven Principles are:
“We are grateful for the opportunity to have partnered with the National Restaurant Association in developing these principles, which will help platforms like DoorDash continue to empower restaurants to reach new customers and grow their revenue,” said Max Rettig, global head of Public Policy at DoorDash. “We are proud to support these principles through the range of products and services we’ve developed for restaurants, and we look forward to continually improving our offerings to best serve our restaurant partners.”
"These principles will help strengthen the critical relationship between the diners, drivers and restaurants that has grown even more important during the pandemic," Seth Priebatsch, chief revenue officer at Grubhub, said. "We look forward to continuing to work with the National Restaurant Association to deliver for the hundreds of thousands of restaurants we’re proud to partner with every day."
“The teams at Uber Eats and Postmates are committed to the restaurant community,” said Stephane Ficaja, head of Uber Delivery for the U.S. & Canada. “As one company, we’ve recently made commitments to listening to and learning from merchants and have worked together to support the National Restaurant Association’s development of these new principles that are designed to address the most pressing interests of the industry.”
In the customer survey, roughly 90% of customers who ordered delivery in the last six months favor each of the seven Principles. Read the full Public Policy Principles for Third-Party Delivery here.
President-elect Biden made a speech announcing his framework for an American Rescue Plan (ARP), a $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill. While the attached includes key insights, it lacks the detail needed for a thorough analysis. Alarmingly, it would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and eliminate the tip wage (see below for additional details). Until we have a copy of the proposed bill, what is included below is speculation based on the content of his speech.
Speaker Pelosi and incoming Senate Majority Leader Schumer swiftly endorsed the proposal, encouraged Republicans to support it, and pledged to work on its passage. Biden has suggested that he would like to see it enacted by the end of the month.
Following are some of the ARA’s key elements:
The Louisiana Restaurant Association announced its 2021 volunteer leadership with Keith Bond as its Chair. Bond has been in the restaurant business since 1997 when he and his wife Shelly partnered with her father to open the second Mel’s Diner in Broussard. Named for Shelly’s mother Mel, she and Keith are rebuilding the original Mel’s Diner Johnston Street location which was gutted by a fire and is expected to reopen it in April 2021. He has served on the LRA’s Board of Directors since 2014 and has been active in the LRA’s Acadiana chapter for many years.
“The LRA is fortunate to be led by a group of professionals who are actively involved in the restaurant industry, especially after the past year we’ve experienced,” said Stan Harris, LRA President and CEO. “These leaders support their peers by sharing best practices and ideas on how we can make this industry more resilient. Their willingness to volunteer their time and efforts during an extremely difficult business climate is critical to the mission of the LRA.”
The 2021 officers of the LRA:
The following members were elected to serve as an LRA Director for a one-year term in 2021:
Greater Baton Rouge Chapter:
Greater New Orleans Chapter:
The Louisiana Restaurant Association is proud to announce the chapter presidents who will lead its membership in 2021. The LRA is comprised of nine chapters across the state, each designed to support our advocacy and membership activities. Every year, the chapters’ Board of Directors elects a restaurant owner in its ranks to serve as President. This year’s leaders, who volunteer their time and efforts at the highest level, are charged with localizing the overall LRA member experience and cultivating opportunities for growth within the association.
The 2021 LRA Chapter Presidents are:
“The LRA’s impact is significant because of its volunteer leaders,” said LRA President and CEO Stan Harris. “This group of restaurateurs and industry professionals will serve as strong representatives of their respective regions and the industry statewide in 2021.”
The NRA/LRA successfully worked to include the following three items in the recent stimulus package.