Innovations That Matter

The famous Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse in Jackson Hole, Wyoming | Photo source Million Dollar Cowboy

Dining Bonds program aimed at restaurants struggling through COVID-19 outbreak

Food & Drink

The bonds work in a similar way to savings bonds in order to help restaurants raise funds during the coronavirus pandemic

Spotted: Of the many industries that are suffering from major business losses due to the coronavirus outbreak, the restaurant industry is one of the worst-hit. In New York, all of the cities restaurants were ordered to close indefinitely or move to delivery and takeaway only. Many restaurants and their workers are operating on very slim margins, and even a two or three-week shutdown would be enough to drive them out of business. In response, an initiative called Dining Bonds hopes to provide some help.

Related: UPSCALE SEATTLE RESTAURANT FINDS NEW BUSINESS MODEL AMIDST COVID-19 CRISIS

The bonds work in a similar way to a savings bond. Diners purchase bonds at a discount (so, for example, a $100 bond costs $75) and they can be redeemed for face value at participating restaurants — once they are open for business again. The bonds are purchased from particular restaurants and are non-refundable if the restaurant goes out of business.

Restaurants that would like to participate can find help on the SupportRestaurants.org website. Around three dozen restaurants around the US have signed up already, including the Million Dollar Cowboy Steakhouse in Jackson Hole, Wyo. and Vietnamese hotspot, Crustacean, in Beverly Hills. The organisers want people to think of the bonds as an investment in the future of a restaurant, as well as a way to help them through any immediate financial challenges.

“It is meant to evoke the feeling of a wartime savings bond, which is what the industry feels like right now. Customers are investing in the future,” Helen Patrikis, of HR-PR, and co-founder of the initiative, said.

Any restaurants can sign up, and people who want to buy the bonds should go to individual restaurants’ webpages or check for participating eateries on SupportRestaurants.org.

As the coronavirus crisis accelerates, we are seeing a number of innovative ideas to help people and businesses survive. Some restaurants are repurposing themselves as pop-ups and drive-thrus, to keep employees working.

Explore more: Food & Drink Innovations

Website: supportrestaurants.org

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