Restaurant Industry Blueprint for Revival

With almost one million foodservice locations nationwide and an employee base of 15.6 million, the restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private sector employer. Our record of advancement for people of color, for women, and for minority groups is unmatched by any other industry.

The industry remains a critical part of the food supply chain — a hard-charging engine for the nation’s economy. But an industry that provides the average owner with only 16 days of cash on hand has fought through months-long closures and capacity restrictions to stay open and serve communities. Restaurant industry losses are on track to top $240 billion by the end of 2020 — more than any other industry.

The National Restaurant Association offers this Blueprint for Restaurant Revival (complete document available here) to guide Congress and the Administration as officials work to craft nextround recovery programs.

Read our letter to House and Senate leaders here.

SHORT-TERM RELIEF TO RESTART THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY

Create a Restaurant Recovery Fund for structured relief to help restaurants get the liquidity they need, adapt, rehire and eventually reopen. This includes passage of the RESTAURANTS Act proposed by the Senate.

Build on the success of PPP by enacting a second round of application eligibility to initial eight-week loan recipients and make other changes to help extend and sustain this successful program.

Make PPP loans tax deductible so that small businesses can deduct eligible expenses paid with a forgiven PPP loan, and eliminate the substantial tax liability many face for taking these loans in the first place.

Establish a long-term loan program beyond PPP so restaurants can rehire, retrain and retain valued employees by providing up to six-months of operating costs and additional support.

Expand the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) to help restaurants get support after a PPP loan has run out.

Improve Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) by replenishing funding for EIDLs and advance grants to support businesses with major revenue reductions due to COVID-19.

Provide customer and employee wellness tax credits to help with significant capital investments for employee and guest safety.

Address Business Interruption insurance claims for small businesses with a federal backstop to cover losses due to a pandemic and so that insurance remains available and affordable.

Provide Liability Protection for American Businesses because COVID-19 is a global pandemic and is not caused or spread by any one type of business or employee. Congress should enact temporary and targeted protections to stem frivolous or fraudulent lawsuits, but allow claims based on willful misconduct by bad actors.

ENSURE STABILITY OF AMERICA’S FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN FROM FARM TO TABLE

Prioritize testing + vaccine distribution for food supply chain employees (after health care, first responders and vulnerable populations) to help the entire food and restaurant industry continue growing, selling and serving healthy food even in times of crisis.

Enact payroll tax relief for essential employees to help keep frontline workers in vital sectors on the job and serving the public.

HELP RESTAURANTS SUPPORT AT-RISK COMMUNITIES

Provide support for restaurants feeding vulnerable populations by providing incentives and payment when restaurants partner with government and nonprofits to prepare meals for seniors, children and other vulnerable populations.

Broaden access to restaurant meals for low-income Americans by creating state-run programs that increase food access-points during times of crisis and by expanding the population of people eligible for restaurant meal service via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).