New stimulus package, no more RESTAURANTS Act

A version of this article appeared on 12/8/20 in, a free weekly newsletter from Back of House with news, resources, and more curated by our team. It goes out to thousands of restaurant operators each Tuesday morning. Subscribe today to get our coverage of the restaurant technology space directly to your inbox!


The Industry Appetizer

A quick snack on some headlines that caught our editors' eyes this week.

  • New stimulus "Band-aid" for restaurant "bullet wound": $908 billion is the figure associated with Congress' latest attempt at a stimulus package, which would include $288 billion for small businesses and another round of the Paycheck Protection Program. But the $120 billion RESTAURANTS Act, which was originally part of this plan, is missing, and restaurant rehiring has slowed nationwide, with the sector showing net job losses for the first time since April. (FSR Magazine / Eater / Restaurant Dive)

  • Trump on tipping: President Trump announced a new "last-minute" regulation that grants employers the right to pay tipped employees the lower minimum wage of $2.13 per hour—regardless of time spent on non-tipped tasks like prep work, etc. Proponents frame the rule, which has not been finalized, as pro-business; detractors say it will further jeopardize incomes of financially precarious restaurant workers. (FSR Magazine)

  • Restaurant workers harassed: The coronavirus pandemic has led to an increase in sexual harassment cases, according to a study from One Fair Wage. The employee rights organization conducted a study of nearly 1700 restaurant workers in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., and found 41% of restaurant employees reporting a “noticeable change in the number of unwarranted sexual comments." (Restaurant Hospitality)

Tech Talk

The restaurant software, hardware, and solutions stories we've been chewing on lately.

  • Media company, meet ghost kitchen: Thrillist, a digital publication known for its local food & drink rankings and coverage throughout the U.S., has waded into the ghost kitchen market, teaming up with NY-based ghost kitchen company Zuul. Starting December 9th, it will offer reader-customers in NYC the opportunity to order dishes from 10 popular local restaurants, which will be fulfilled through Zuul's Soho prep facility. (Restaurant Dive)

  • Grubhub to deliver for drivers: Grubhub is offering $10,000 grants for drivers who are also driving (ahem) change in their community in civic categories like education, philanthropy, and civic duties. The 3PD firm will distribute 20 grants to applicants who have submitted a video/essay detailing aforementioned community efforts and how they will use the grant to further them. The deadline for the first round of applications is January 4th 4, with the first grants being awarded in early 2021. (Restaurant Business Online)

  • Fee caps, meet DashPass: As a "premium marketing experience," DoorDash's DashPass program may also function as a loophole for the company to skirt cities' caps on the fees it charges restaurants. Or at least, that's what DoorDash itself is arguing in Washington, D.C., where restaurants that have opted into the program for greater visibility may have to cough up a higher share of sales than the 15% limit that city officials imposed on delivery services earlier this year. (Washington City Paper)

Back of House Banter

>>>Read our interview with Tyler Brewer of Snackpass, a BOH Verified Vendor.

Pantry Staples

Resources for restaurant operators, created and curated by our team.

  • Head in the clouds: Perhaps you've heard the term "cloud kitchen", but aren't crystal clear on all the details. You're hardly alone. We've got you covered on everything you need to know about the concept investors have been pouring nearly $3 billion into since last year. (Back of House)

  • Curbside how-to: With more restaurants resorting to takeout and delivery only, offering seamless curbside pickup is one of the sure-fire ways to ensure your restaurant remains accessible. From the best apps to how to train your staff, check out this comprehensive curbside guide. (Back of House)

  • Outdoor dining innovation: Looking to extend your outdoor dining operation into the colder months? Here are some popular ways operators around the country are doing just that. (Back of House)

[Photo: Aaron Kitredge]