From the Desk Banner
 
 
Last year, the Association adopted its 2020-2024 Strategic Plan. A well-crafted plan like ours can guide organizations through immense internal and external uncertainty. During a recent meeting of the Association and Foundation Officers and the Executive Council senior staff, we reviewed the Association’s plan and carefully considered the implications of the pandemic on our priorities for the balance of the year. While some flexibility is required, the vision, mission, and strategic imperatives outlined in the 2020-2024 Association Strategic Plan remain our road map for the future.
 
Our mission remains, “To serve our industry and impact its success, we: Strengthen operations, mitigate risk and develop talent; Advance and protect business vitality through national, state and local advocacy; and Drive knowledge and collaboration.” The last several months have emphasized the importance of all three of those areas working in harmony. Our advocacy efforts are effective because they are rooted in industry knowledge and collaboration. That same knowledge and collaboration helps us strengthen our operations and mitigate risk, which is directly linked to our ability to develop initiatives to support our mission.
 
Knowledge is power, and the Association is doubling down on its efforts to build capacity to support the industry in an ever-changing landscape. Beyond the robust industry research available on our website and through economic insights delivered in the Economist’s Notebook, I urge you to subscribe to our COVID-19 Newsletter and visit our frequently updated on-demand webinars page. We are educating industry members on the topics most salient for today’s restaurant operators, including menu and restaurant adaptations, policy changes to address COVID health and safety concerns, and engaging team members with conversations around racial equity.
 
Our Expert Exchange communities provide our members the opportunity to connect and share in topic-specific areas, including finance and tax, food safety, human resources, information and technology, nutrition, supply chain, sustainability, and marketing. These communities create the environment for sharing best practices, learning from industry experts, networking, and enjoying product and service discounts. Our Expert Exchange in-person events have shifted to virtual “Gatherings” for now, and I encourage you to learn more about these collaboration opportunities.
 
In the coming weeks and months, robust and reliable industry data will be critical for owners and operators who will be forced to make decisions about resuming operations in the current environment. We remain committed to providing the industry the research and insights it needs to make data-driven decisions.
 
Tom Bene Signature