Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Restaurant Private - Public Partnerships Work


So, how is your branding extending your brand invitation this fall? How involved are you within your local community?  If you are a restaurant owner today it has never been more important to be involved within you community including staying in touch with your local elected officials according to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

If you are a restaurant owner today looking for employees, facing higher and higher food, paper, and beverage cost you may think the job is just too much work. Remember the old adage many hands make for light work? Well partnership matter and who you partner with now days is evolving as well.

How is your branding extending your brand invitation this fall? According to Johnson, “Brand relevance can be in part driven by public / private partnerships in combination with traditional food marketing programs that will help drive new electricity while help you keep the doors open.    

Johnson stated “that in my minds-eye the new electricity must be very efficient for the supply and includes such things as fresh foods, developing brands, unique urban clothing, grocerant positioning, fresh food messaging, autonomous delivery, cashier-less retail, plates, glasses, cash-less payments, digital hand-held marketing.

All food retailers to survive the next generation of retail must embrace the artificial intelligence revolution while simultaneously embracing fresh food that is portable, fresh, with differentiation that is familiar not different.


Let’s look at one example of a private – public partnership that can help.  Remember many hands make for light work.  It’s time all restaurants consider joining their state restaurant organization or the National Restaurant Association according to Johnson.

So, the Denver City Council is set to vote on a new grant program that could make city and county restaurant owners eligible for $10,000 and workers up to $1,500.

The council will vote on a $1 million grant to the Colorado Restaurant Foundation (CRA), the philanthropic arm of the Colorado Restaurant Association, and $500,000 to the Colorado Event Alliance, with both pools financed with monies from the Federal COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Laura Shunk, president of the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, stated, “The restaurant industry is Colorado is facing a severe labor shortage in the wake of the worst 18 months in living memory, with more than 91% of restaurants reporting in an August survey that they were struggling to hire enough staff,”

Shunk continued, “In that same survey, more than 67% of restaurants reported struggling to retain their current employees, and nine out of 10 restaurants have raised wages or changed business practices since the pandemic to attract and retain more talent”.

A CRA spokesperson said the restaurant association and the foundation were working with Denver Economic Development & Opportunity division on the new grant program, called “Denver Back to Work.” The city council was expected to vote on the proposal “within days,” she said.

This is direct assistance for the local restaurant and its employees. The association said the $10,000 grants could be used to offer hiring, retention or incentivize bonuses to attract and retain talent.


The CRA spokesperson went on to say, “We hope that these grants will go a long way toward helping restaurants bring on more staff,”…“It’s also important to note that the grants can be used for more than just hiring and retention. If workers need help paying for childcare, an underlying systemic issue that is affecting the labor shortage, these grants can be used toward those costs.”

Shunk said the Denver Back to Work program specifies that eligible employers must be located in the city or county of Denver – although the employees benefiting from the grant program can live anywhere. The applicants don’t need to be member of the CRA or the Colorado Events Alliance. However, come on it time to join if you are not a member according to Johnson.

Employers are not allowed to hold grant money and must pay all directly to their employees, but the amount of each individual grant is at the employers’ discretion.

Currenlty Shunk stated, “The CRF managed $3 million in Angel Relief Fund grants for more than 3,500 local restaurant workers during the 2020 pandemic, so we’re experienced in managing this type of grant program,”. …“Grants can be made out to workers in any amount, but assuming an average of $1,500 per grant, the ‘Denver Back to Work’ program will be able to serve 943 workers across 140 total local employers,”.

The restaurant business model platform is evolving faster than most restaurant operators can keep up with.  The Colorado Restaurant Foundation was founded in 1987 as the non-profit, philanthropic arm of the Colorado Restaurant Association. Ask them for some helping hands. 

Are you looking for a new partnership to drive sales? Are you ready for some fresh ideations? Do your food marketing tactics look more like yesterday that tomorrow?  Visit GrocerantGuru.com for more information or contact: Steve@FoodserviceSolutions.us Remember success does leave clues and we just may have the clue you need to propel your continued success. 




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