Dining rooms are empty. Restaurants must go off-premises or go out of business. Some will go out of business regardless. And for every off-premise order fulfilled, quarantined customers get their food — but drivers, cooks, and others still working are at risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The restaurant industry is now undergoing the most disruptive crisis it has ever seen; one that has already permanently changed the business. At The Spoon, we’re as confused and frustrated as anyone else. But despite having a lot of questions and few answers right now, we’re continuing to provide coverage of the ongoing fallout, talking to founders, servers, companies, and the restaurants themselves in an attempt to make sense of everything. With that in mind, here are a few more pieces of news from the week.
Stay safe. Stay home. Tip your drivers.
National Restaurant Association Asks for Restaurant Aid
Earlier this week, the National Restaurant Association sent a proposal to the Trump Administration asking for aid for restaurants. The proposal, which The Spoon obtained a copy of, asks for direct financial relief for restaurants in the form of loans, insurance, and new tax measures. The Association noted it anticipates restaurant sales to decline $225 billion over the next three months.
Still No Delivery From In-N-Out
SoCal QSR legend In-N-Out announced this week it is closing its dining rooms. But unlike other larger restaurant brands, In-N-Out does not offer delivery — nor does it intend to now. As Nation’s Restaurant News points out, the chain has famously stayed away from third-party platforms (and even sued one), and for now will only offer drive-thru and takeout orders. Whether or not this lack of delivery becomes a hindrance for In-N-Out as California tightens its restrictions remains to be seen.
Domino’s is Hiring 10,000 Workers
Domino’s said it will need roughly 10,000 new workers, full and part time, to meet the demand for orders now that dining rooms are shuttered and customers are staying home. In a press release, the chain noted open positions include “delivery experts, pizza makers, customer service representatives, managers and assistant managers.” In a separate statement, Domino’s outlined the things it is doing to ensure cleanliness and sanitation, including contactless delivery, additional training for employees, and improved sanitation practices. The company is expanding its paid sick leave policy for employees during this time.
Sevenrooms Launches Direct Delivery Feature
Guest management platform Sevenrooms launched a new feature this week called Direct Delivery that gives restaurants more ownership over their customer data on delivery and takeout orders in the hopes of being able to offer them more relevant marketing. According to an email from Sevenrooms, the feature can be directly integrated into a restaurant POS system, too. For the next 90 days, existing and prospective Sevenrooms customers can add the feature on at no extra cost.