As lifelong chefs, restaurateurs, and food professionals, we’ve been fielding many questions about how to support our beloved restaurant industry during the unprecedented times in a COVID-19 world. The answers are nuanced and not exactly simple—but in a moment of limited operations and mandatory closures, the solutions begin with focusing on how to maintain customers. That’s where you come in.
Like you, we now make every meal at home with an ever-dwindling pantry. The simple market errand has turned into a haphazard, 6-foot-distance mask and glove ritual, where supply is unreliable and patience can be low. And though our careers are based in food and hospitality, we still struggle to create wholesome, delicious meals from odds and ends. Well, breathe easy, because there’s an answer to that unending question: “what’s for dinner?” It’s your local restaurant. Let’s be honest, it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. You want a break from the dinner-and-dishes hamster wheel. Restaurants are desperate for your patronage to stay afloat.
As we face the reality of a forever changing foodservice landscape, we thought it would be helpful to provide our top four ideas of how to support this fragile sector as a patron, neighbor and fellow small business owner. It has never been more apparent that our lives—as humans and entrepreneurs—are inextricably linked. Ordering from your favorite spot is a tremendous help right now. But there are also some other ways. Here’s how you can help the restaurant industry right now:
About the authors:
Jason Rose is the co-founder and president of Full Heart Hospitality. He brings his deep passion for all things food and hospitality coupled with more than 20 years of industry experience to Full Heart. Jason has been an Executive Chef for over 15 years, including developing renowned menus at Truc in Boston, The Carneros Inn in Napa, Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco, Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma and Whole Foods Market. Capitalizing on his expertise in the restaurant industry, he became a Culinary Director, building a portfolio over the past decade for a broad range of hospitality groups including the Bi-Rite Family of businesses in San Francisco, Dean & Deluca worldwide, The Tyler Florence Group, The Delfina Restaurant Group, and the groundbreaking food incubator La Cocina. Branching out from all things culinary, he has a wealth of understanding in the development and management of manufacturing, grocery, prepared foods, systems development, labor optimization, and financial strategy.
Matt Jennings is the founder of Full Heart Hospitality, an award-winning chef, restaurateur, and author and life-long disciple of hospitality. Matt has had a number of his own culinary outposts, including the beloved Farmstead, Inc. group in Rhode Island and most recently, Townsman in Boston. After consulting for some clients in the Boston area and dedicating his life to wellness, Matt made the decision to pursue Full Heart’s vision full time. Matt is a five time James Beard Foundation finalist, has been recognized by the White House, Food & Wine Magazine, The New York Times, The Mother Nature Network and is a Certified Workplace Wellness Coach as of 2018. A focused creative, Matt has been cooking since he was 14 and he brings the same passion and zest for the business- that which helped make his own establishments so successful- to every Full Heart partnership. His expertise lies in culture creation, creative concepting, team enrichment and systems analysis.