It’s way too soon to know exactly how badly restaurants will be impacted by the mandatory dining room shutdowns happening due to the spread of coronavirus. In a letter to the government obtained by The Spoon, The National Restaurant Association said it anticipates a sales decline of $225 billion over the next three months and the loss of between 5–7 million jobs. Since news of both COVID-19 and its effects on daily life and business change overnight now, there’s no telling if that number will go up in the near future.
To help restaurant owners, managers, workers, and other industry folks affected by this unprecedented situation, we’ve put together a list of useful websites, funds, fact sheets, and more. I’ll be adding to this list daily, so if you know of an organization or movement or own a tech company pushing out solutions to help restaurants, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Restaurant Association has put together a COVID-19 fact sheet (PDF) that includes information specific to the restaurant industry, such as the difference between cleaning and sanitizing and what to do if an employee gets sick.
Allset, a reservations and order-ahead app, now offers a contactless pickup option at participating restaurants. For all existing restaurant partners that provide the contactless pickup option at their stores, the company is waiving commission fees. Allset is also offering a daily $4 discount to customers for all pickup orders placed via its platform.
Restaurant tech company Chowly is offering a “no cost” starter package to businesses needing to quickly pivot to delivery models as more cities and states shut down dining rooms. Chowly’s software funnels orders coming from multiple different channels directly into a restaurant’s main POS system, which saves restaurants from having to manually input that information. Right now, Chowly says restaurants can get set up in as little as two business days.
DailyPay, an app that lets restaurant workers access their earnings immediately, has waived all access fees so that individuals using the service can get their earned income immediately. According to a press release from DailyPay, 43% of employees using DailyPay are accessing their pay early for COVID-19-related expenses. Restaurants not yet working with DailyPay can now do so at zero cost right now.
A group of restaurant industry professionals has set up an initiative to get immediate funds to restaurants through a campaign called “Dining Bonds.” It works like a savings bond: guests purchase a bond at today’s value rate and can redeem it for full face value at a later date. Customers can connect and purchase bonds from participating restaurants here.
DoorDash/Caviar is waiving commission fees for 30 days for new independent restaurants. Existing restaurant customers will pay zero commission fees on pickup orders for 30 days. The service has also set up a fund to assist impacted drivers and couriers.
Epicuri is waiving set up fees and offering a 60-day free trial with no commitment of its restaurant POS and guest management software. If interested, email email@example.com.
Foodetective, a restaurant delivery platform serving Switzerland, is offering a commission-free delivery and takeaway platform for restaurants in the U.S. Restaurants will pay a monthly subscription fee but no commissions on individual orders.
The Foodservice Training Portal, which provides online learning tools for foodservice establishments, just released a new course which outlines how to respond to and prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Grubhub/Seamless has suspended commission fees for independent restaurants and set up a fund to assist drivers impacted by COVID-19.
Modern Restaurant Management has compiled a massive list of companies, nonprofits, tech startups, and more all offering tools and tips for restaurants during this time. The list includes everything from free webinars to best practice lists to information about new products that can help restaurants shift to off-premises strategies quickly. Check the full roundup here.
OneDine is now providing its Touchless System for ordering and payment free to all restaurants. It will waive setup and transaction fees and provide free Tap & Order and Tap & Pay sensors to all restaurants staying open.
OpenTable has launched a Restaurant Resource Center with information to help restaurant owners adapt operations to weather forced closures during the coronavirus. It will also waive subscription fees to their booking service if the restaurant is closed, as well as gift card listing fees.
Ordermark, a software-hardware platform that streamlines the process of accepting, managing, and fulfilling delivery orders, is waiving all setup fees right now, according to an email sent to The Spoon.
Postmates will waive commission fees for new San Francisco restaurants signing up with the platform. The service has also set up a fund for impacted workers.
Restaurant order management platform Revention is offering an Online Ordering and Delivery Starter Bundle for a reduced price. It includes a POS terminal, optional DoorDash on-demand delivery service, and remote installation.
Restaurant Playbooks will offer sales and hospitality training programs free to restaurant operators who are using their mandatory closures to develop their team.
Seated, a restaurant reservation and rewards platform, has created a help hotline to provide free financial, business, and legal advice to restaurant owners.
Toast has set up a relief fund called Rally for Restaurants. Users can search an online directory for their favorite restaurants and donate to them by purchasing gift cards.
Uber Eats has waived delivery fees for independent restaurants and offers two weeks of pay to drivers diagnosed with or quarantined because of COVID-19.
USBG National Charity Foundation is raising funds for the COVID-19 Relief Campaign in order to finance the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program.
The U.S. Small Business Association is offering low-interest disaster recovery loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19.
Online food ordering platform Zuppler is offering free setup and reduced pricing for restaurants and caterers who want to add online or Google ordering to their websites.