Chamber News

July 02, 2020 Likes Comments

10 ways to help restaurants this summer

The upcoming three-day holiday weekend provides a perfect opportunity to help our local restaurants come back, safely and successfully.

Here’s ten ways you all help our restaurants and their employees while dining out this weekend and all summer long.
  1. Don’t go if you don’t feel well. Don’t risk others’ health for a chance to enjoy a burger and fries.
  2. Wear a mask. Not while eating, but all other times. Face coverings aren’t for your protection as much as they are for the protection of the employees and your fellow diners. Show respect to your server and staff who will be working hard to provide you with a fulfilling and safe experience. They’ll be working hard to ensure your safety. Show that you care about their well-being too.
  3. Keep your distance. Social distancing rules exist for a reason. As happy as you may be to see your long-lost college roommate sitting at another table, wave and make plans to Facetime later.
  4. Go easy on the staff. They’re taking a risk coming to work. They’re cleaning every surface you touch. And it’s hot wearing a mask while working as a short order cook or carrying plates of food outside in the 90-degree heat. Try and place your full order at one time so they don’t have to run back and forth.
  5. Expect to pay more. If you’ve been to the grocery store, you’ve seen how food prices have gone up. Restaurateurs also have a lot of fixed costs (rent, insurance, utilities, equipment) and new added costs, including PPE and cleaning protocols, but fewer customers to cover them. Prices need to go up.
  6. Leave a great tip. Social distancing requirements have reduced the number of seats and, therefore, customers over the course of a shift. Tip 20 percent or more. 25 percent would be appropriate in these times.
  7. Don’t be a no-show. With limited seating, every customer matters. If you make a reservation and can’t keep it, cancel as soon as possible, not ten minutes before. Don’t be the person who makes multiple reservations for the same night, so you can decide where to go later.
  8. Expect that things will be different. The menu may have changed. The silverware may be plastic. Ketchup may come in packets. Certain ingredients may not be available. Go with the flow and enjoy.
  9. Don’t linger. Enjoy your meal. Enjoy desert. Then let someone else enjoy your seat (right after your hardworking wait person wipes it all down!)
  10. Don’t yap on Yelp. We’re all adjusting to a whole new way of doing things. If you were disappointed by something or have other feedback, talk to a manager.
Fuller awards $300K in small business grants
The City of Newton has awarded 20 microbusinesses and seven small businesses, economic recovery grants totaling $300,000, Mayor Fuller announced yesterday. The funds from the federal CARES Act aim to help small brick and mortar establishments facing financial challenges because of COVID-19. Here’s a list of the recipients.
New T pass launched
A new MBTA fare -- the Five-day Flex Pass -- launched yesterday. The pilot program gives a rider five one-day passes that can be used anytime within a 30-day period and will be available through Sept. 30.
The new feature, available through the mTicket mobile app, is aimed at commuters who may need to travel for work on occasion but not as regularly as they did before the pandemic.
New North American trade deal has begun
The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement officially replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement yesterday (July 1). If your company sells goods to Mexico and Canada, the Small Business Administration’s Office of International Trade has trade finance specialists and finance products to help small businesses to access capital, purchase inventory as a manufacturer or supplier, and expand through trade. Learn more here.
Paycheck Protection Program: Not dead yet
An extension of the Paycheck Protection Program to Aug. 8 has passed both houses of Congress and awaits the president’s signature. Without the extension the $130 billion in unspent money would have been sent back to the Treasury.
There have been some calls to modify the existing program and Congress is expected to consider another coronavirus relief plan later this month, with some lawmakers advocating for more small business aid.
Housekeeping note
As part of an initiative to give my family a chance to remember who I am, there will not be a newsletter tomorrow (Friday, July 3) or Monday (July 6). I’ll be back with the latest Tuesday at 7 a.m.
Until then, wear a face mask. Tip your waitpersons. Take care of each other. And have a great long weekend.
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
Your chamber is here when you need us.


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