We are excited to be returning to our regularly scheduled programming next week!
On Thursday, August 20th we are looking forward to our next installment of GGRA Restaurants Rising, Voices of Our Industry: National Stories. Our panelists will be bringing insights from across the country representing San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York City, Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.
As we continue to navigate the changes in our industry in SF and beyond, we want to continue to provide you and your teams with the tools you need. Linked here is our previous mental health resources email for reference. Please note that we are also planning to hold another webinar in the upcoming weeks around this topic. Stay tuned for details, but, in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or for support.
With local, state, and federal policies impacting restaurants across the country, how is the hospitality industry participating in the process? Join us for a conversation with chefs and restaurateurs from key cities as we discuss the current climate and its impact on our businesses.
What inspired you to get into this business?
I was surrounded by food growing up. My grandmother was an amazing cook; my mom also. My sister had us tuned into Food Network from its very start--the Essence of Emeril, Molto Mario, Grillin & Chillin. By age 23, I was disillusioned with the idea that I'd spend a career behind a desk as a lawyer and I wanted honest, physical work with some adrenaline in the mix and constant social interaction. I was watching Bourdain and Pepin and cooking a lot on my own. So I dropped out of law school and started the slow climb to being a chef.
Given the current climate of the SF and global restaurant scene, what changes have you had to make to your business model?
We are doing so much more with so much less. At Stock Fishtown and Stock Rittenhouse (Philadelphia, PA):
1) Reduced days and hours of operation--in order to make PPP stretch and, hopefully, survive
2) Commissary approach--we are running production for two locations of a concept out of one kitchen, then transporting product daily. There is a shared staff element so the scheduling picture is different, and new systems for ordering and managing inventories
3) Ghost kitchen--we are running a seafood-centric New England-style seafood shack during concurrent hours and off the same line as a Southeast Asian casual concept
4) Safety protocols and managing information intake
5) Setting up a new website and online ordering functionality
6) Using the dining room as a storage area to accommodate the large amount of extra take-out packaging materials
At Le Cavalier (Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, DE) we're seeking variance for additional outdoor seating. We're also partnering with GrubHub, which we very much had not planned to do. In addition, we're changing design and decor for safety, i.e. no porous surfaces at touch points and guest tables. We've added a QR code menu option and are using roll-ups instead of place settings.
What is a key takeaway you’ve learned from the COVID19 crisis that you would like to share with the restaurant/bar community?
We, as independent restaurants who may survive, need to organize ourselves to ensure a more sustainable future. This has not been working for some time now, and we finally had a moment to slow down and consider how we are represented and what our super-structures are as an industry. We should not miss this opportunity to make things better on the other side of the pandemic.
What do you wish all of your customers knew?
I wish they knew how close we are to bankruptcy.
Place you would most like to eat when this is "over"?
Dirt Candy, Nightbird, Olmsted, and Lula Cafe.
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: