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November 6 – Independent Restaurants: "Neighborhood Restaurants and Their Employees are Out of Options and Congress is Nearly Out of Time"

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November 6, 2020


Jeff Solnet

Independent Restaurants: "Neighborhood Restaurants and Their Employees are Out of Options and Congress is Nearly Out of Time"

Today’s October Jobs Report Showed Restaurants Leading Total Pandemic Job Losses for Ninth Consecutive Month, 2.1 Million Jobs Still Lost From COVID-19

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC) released the following statement in response to October’s jobs report, which showed food and beverage establishments out 2.1 million jobs since February: 

"With one month until the start of winter, 2.1 million restaurant workers are already out of a job and more will hit the unemployment lines as outdoor dining becomes impossible,” said the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “Restaurant employment is down 17% from its pre-pandemic levels because restaurants have been forced to close their doors in record numbers after accumulating bills for months without the sufficient revenue to pay them. Neighborhood restaurants and their employees are out of options and Congress is nearly out of time. The RESTAURANTS Act is the only legislation in Congress that will help protect restaurants during the winter and ensure they can fully reopen and rehire their teams when it is safe to do so." 

Today’s jobs report showed the food and beverage places have lost 2.1 million jobs since the outset of the pandemic – far more than any other industry. In response to the industry’s crisis, independent restaurants have been rallying behind the RESTAURANTS Act, a bipartisan proposal that would create a $120 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund for independent establishments affected by COVID-19. As of today, the proposal has the support of 214 House members and 49 senators, including Republicans like Sens. Wicker, Murkowski, Graham, Cornyn, Gardner, and Tillis and Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, Sens. Kamala Harris, Manchin, Warren, Sinema, Durbin and many others.  

Last month, the House passed the RESTAURANTS Act as part of the larger revised HEROES Act. President Trump has also been sympathetic to restaurants' cause, noting recently on a podcast that the industry's fallout from COVID-19 "wasn't the owner of a restaurant's fault". 


The Independent Restaurant Coalition was formed by chefs and independent restaurant owners across the country who have built a grassroots movement to secure vital protections for the nation’s 500,000 independent restaurants and the more than 11 million restaurant workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Coalition’s leadership team includes Tyler Akin, José Andrés, Kevin Boehm, Sean Brock, Katie Button, Andrew Carmellini, Ashley Christensen, Jeanie Chunn, Amanda Cohen, Tom Colicchio, Nina Compton, Rosa Garcia, Suzanne Goin, Gregory Gourdet, Will Guidara, Mason Hereford, Sam Kass, Max Katzenberg, Mike Lata, Camilla Marcus, Ivy Mix, Kwame Onwuachi, Patrick Phelan, Erika Polmar, Naomi Pomeroy, Niki Russ Federman, Steven Satterfield, Michael Shemtov, Nancy Silverton, Frank Stitt, Bobby Stuckey, Robert St. John, Caroline Styne, Jill Tyler, and Andrew Zimmern. 

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