This week in restaurant news: outdoor solutions, NY surcharge, Beard Foundation invests in BIPOC businesses

Every week we’re rounding up some of our favorite articles with trends and tidbits from the world of restaurants. Tell us: what made your reading list this week?

Restaurants Reliant on Outdoor Dining Get Creative in Preparation for Winter Chill Ahead – Restaurant Hospitality
Many cities opened their streets and sidewalks to outdoor dining this spring, offering a boon for restaurants with shuttered dining rooms. Now, with fall on its way, some restaurants are exploring structures like pergolas and igloos to weather-proof their outdoor setups for colder temperatures. The city of Chicago even hosted a challenge to solve the weather dilemma – as Eater reports, 640 submissions rolled in.

Louisville-Based Lee Initiative Recognizes James Beard Finalists With Grants – Nashville Scene
With the 2020 James Beard awards cancelled amid controversy about a lack of diversity among winners, chef Edward Lee’s LEE Initiative announced a plan to celebrate all of the 88 chefs named as finalists with $3,000 grants. Meanwhile, the Beard Foundation will create an investment fund for food and beverage businesses owned by Black and Indigenous Americans.

NYC Restaurants Will Soon Be Allowed to Add Up to 10 Percent Surcharge to Diners’ Bills – Eater New York
The New York City Council voted in favor of a bill that lets restaurants add a surcharge (up to 10 percent of a check total) to help restaurants recover during the pandemic. It’s set to last until 90 days after indoor dining resumes at full capacity. The New York Times reports that owners are divided about the charge, as many are hesitant to ask more from cash-strapped guests.

Operators Out West Face a New Threat: Wildfire Smoke – Restaurant Business
As outdoor dining has become more important (and lucrative) than ever, poor air quality caused by raging wildfires adds additional complexity for restaurants. From air-quality meters to new revenue streams, here’s how operators are coping.

These Black-owned restaurants were saved by the social justice movement – Nation’s Restaurant News
The killing of George Floyd raised awareness about anti-Black violence in the U.S. and launched a movement to support Black-owned businesses, resulting in increased traffic and sales. Said Barbara “Sky” Burrell of Los Angeles’ Sky’s Gourmet Tacos, “His death is not in vain. We would not have survived COVID.”

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10 tips to start and expand your outdoor dining experience

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In it Together: taking care of the industry with Edward Lee & Jessica Koslow

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In it Together: tough calls and closures with Lien Ta & Shehzad Roopani

In it Together: tough calls and closures with Lien Ta & Shehzad Roopani

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In it Together: taking on the insurance industry with Naomi Pomeroy & Robert J. Nelson

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