We hope that today’s email finds you well and safe. Our hearts are with all of the families and businesses being affected by the wildfires. Please do not hesitate to reach out for support so we can field any questions or concerns regarding the fires’ impact of dining and additional challenges that continue to face our industry. We are here to help. You can reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on our GGRA Members Facebook Group.
With that said, yesterday’s installment of Restaurants Rising, Voices of Our Industry: National Stories, was an insightful conversation with industry experts from around the nation. It was full of information and inspiration. If you missed it, we highly encourage you to watch the full recording here.
We will return on September 3rd for our next webinar, Restaurants Rising, Coping in Times of Crisis. The panel will include leaders from the restaurant industry as well as mental health professionals. During these unpredictable, tough times, it is immensely important to take care of your mental health. This webinar will provide you with the tools and resources needed to check in with yourself and your staff. You can register here.
In the meantime, you can access our past webinar, Mental Health Resources for You and Your Employeeshere along with our resources newsletter here.
We wish you all a safe and healthy weekend.
All the best,
GGRA Board President
As we head toward the six-month mark of navigating the pandemic in San Francisco, the hospitality industry is continuing to grapple with unpredictability and crisis out of our control. Acknowledging the reality of the challenges and making time to take care of yourself and your employees is crucial to ongoing mental and physical health. Join us for a second conversation on mental health, featuring industry veterans and experts, as we discuss how we’re doing and share tools and resources at your disposal.
On Thursday, September 3rd at 2:30pm, join us for GGRA Restaurants Rising’s, Coping in Times of Crisis.Check in next week for our panelist line-up and details.
When I was in my late 20’s I had a dark night of the soul. I knew I needed to do something with
my life, but nothing seemed worth doing. The only thing I cared about was food, so before I
could chicken out I signed up for the Natural Gourmet’s chef’s training program, told my
husband I was moving across the country, and started classes before I could lose my nerve. I
haven’t looked back once.
Given the current climate of the global restaurant scene, what changes have you
had to make to your business model?
Business model? (cue sardonic laughter) My business model right now is, “Don’t close.” I’ve had
to shut down my old restaurant and open an entirely new one in the same location. Dirt Candy
was a fine dining vegetable focused restaurant that served a massive tasting menu. That Dirt
Candy is gone and it may never come back. I’ve had to open a business based around take-out
and delivery and outdoor dining, so it’s all stoner sandwiches, kitchen sink salads, vegetable
and vodka slushies, summer BBQs in a box, and desserts. My food has to hold up to travel,
and people need their meals to be big, and bright, and bold, and comforting.
What is a key takeaway you’ve learned from the COVID19 crisis that you would like to
share with the restaurant/bar community?
Tipping needs to end. It’s racist, it’s sexist, and it left our workers — the people we’re supposed
to treat like family, the people we depend on to run our businesses — gruesomely exposed
when this crisis hit. We need to ditch tipping, raise our menu prices by 20% and give our
workers a living wage so they can stop living hand to mouth. Owners and customers need to
face reality: if you eat in or own a restaurant that practices tipping, you are engaging in a racist
and sexist system that exploits vulnerable workers. Period. It’s your choice what kind of human
being you want to be, but own your decisions.
What do you wish all of your customers knew?
We’re struggling, too. Right now, every restaurant owner I know is in mourning, racking up debt,
fighting to keep the lights on, crying themselves to sleep. We’re presenting a happy face to the
world, but we had to fire people we’ve worked with for years. We couldn’t take care of our work
families. We’re watching our businesses get gutted. And we’re doing our best to feed you. So
maybe ease up on the Yelp and online reviews for a little bit? Maybe don’t call the restaurant if
your order is running 15 minutes late and don’t scream at the person who answers the phone.
We’re trying, and we’re heartbroken, and we’re doing our best, just like you.
Place you would most like to eat when this is "over"?
My parents' house.
SF Mask Protocol for Diners
Educating the public on San Francisco’s mask protocol for outdoor dining helps to protect both restaurant staff and guests while lessening the spread of COVID19. We encourage you to display the poster in your window and print the postcards to leave at individual tables so guests can scan the QR Code to view the poster while seated. Color and black and white copies are available to download below as both PDF or JPG here:
We hope you will continue to join us in sharing your safe-dining photos using the hashtag #ShowUsYourMaskSF in our efforts to educate consumers on the proper protocols. Please also tag @ggrasf, @eatdrinksf and @onlyinsf so that we can reshare.
The Bay Area is fortunate to have many incredible Black-owned restaurants and pop-ups. Find a directory compiled by San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho here. You can also find a list of San Francisco specific restaurants broken down by neighborhood on our consumer-facing page, Eat Drink SF.
Resources compiled by the Independent Restaurant Coalition that we’ve found to be helpful in our efforts to continue to educate ourselves and support the cause: