What's going on with that $120B in restaurant relief?

A version of this article appeared in Eat.news, 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.

  • From $2.2 trillion, $120 billion: The latest COVID relief bill gathering momentum in Washington is the HEROES Act, which would deliver $120B worth of economic aid to the restaurant business, with a special emphasis on minority- and women-owned independent restaurants, bars, and so forth. The independent Restaurant Coalition is backing the bill, which passed the House Thursday. But: it's no sure thing that the Senate will take up the bill. (NRN / Restaurant Hospitality)

  • Right now in restaurant real-estate: Half a year into the pandemic, the relationship between landlord and restaurant operator is more fraught with challenges than ever before. Here's a big, multi-market look at the "power" that building-owners hold over their F&B tenants right now—and how they're exerting that power. (Eater)

  • First shots at forgiveness?: Last week, the U.S. Treasury signaled it may soon begin processing PPP loan forgiveness applications. Still nothing yet this week, though. (Restaurant Dive)

Tech Talk

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

  • Delivery apps boosting Black-owned biz?: With mainstream Americans more tuned-in than ever with the ideas of social and racial justice, delivery apps like Uber Eats and DoorDash rolled out programs to support Black-owned restaurants on their platforms. Sounds great. Did it work? (Protocol)

  • $$$afety first: As the weather turns chilly, NYC restaurants with deep pockets are installing pricey tech solutions—bi-polar ionization systems, ultraviolet lights, you name it—in the hopes of putting patrons at ease for indoor dining. (Eater)

  • Google's reservation integrations: SevenRooms is the latest reservation management system to integrate with the search giant, joining platforms like Bookatable, easyTableBooking, and Resy. It's all part of Google's play to own more of the diner journey from search to seat. In SevenRooms, they've got another fast-growing partner; the platform raised an additional $50M in June 2020 to expand its operations. (Restaurant Dive / TechCrunch)

Pantry Staples

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

  • Let's get (c)loud: Ghost kitchens, virtual kitchens, cloud kitchens... there may be minor variations in the definitions of each of these terms, but broadly speaking, they're food-service operations that exist mostly online and leverage delivery to reach customers. Here's what you need to know about how cloud kitchens are changing the restaurant landscape. (Back of House)

  • Covid communication: Cold weather is coming back, and with it (in all likelihood) higher coronavirus case-counts. Brush up on how to effectively relay info about your restaurant's pandemic policies via social media now, so you're not scrambling later. (Back of House)

  • Logo a-go-go: Believe it or not, there are brave souls out there who are still planning to open restaurants in the middle of, well, everything. If you're one of 'em, you're going to need a logo. Here are a half-dozen pieces of inspiration for you. (Back of House)

[Photo: Alejandro Barba via Unsplash]