The Seattle Restaurant Alliance held our first in-person/virtual hybrid meeting. Many thanks to Hot Stove Society for hosting. The meeting featured a panel of operators who shared their perspectives of operating during the pandemic, especially through the recent variant surge.
The discussion included best practices and pivots, challenges in staying open, and what they have done to keep customers and staff feeling good and safe. Thank you to Ali Ghambari with Cherry Street Coffee House, Paul Ritums with The Westy Sports and Spirits and Charlie Anthe with Moshi Moshi Sushi & Izakaya for sharing your stories.
Here are a few highlights:
- A consistent theme was the importance of engaging your team on why you are taking certain approaches.
- Streamlining menus and using what they have on hand.
- Being proactive and upfront with the public about wait times along with requirements and regulations.
- For some, the pandemic has been an opportunity to think differently and reset.
- Everyone highlighted the importance of working together within their communities and sharing ideas.
Last week Sen. Maria Cantwell held a roundtable with restaurant owners from across the state advocating for additional funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Washington Hospitality Association President & CEO Anthony Anton moderated the discussion. You can watch the discussion here.
The estimated need is $43 billion to fund unmet applications stuck in the queue, including $2 billion for restaurants in Washington. Click here to tell Congress to replenish the RRF.
Additionally, The Seattle Restaurant Alliance hosted a discussion with Councilmember Dan Strauss along with representatives from the Seattle Police Department’s North Precinct and the City Attorney’s Office, focusing on the ongoing public safety issues in the area. Leadership from the Ballard Alliance and the Fremont Chamber also participated, this is the first step in collaboratively finding solutions.
Crime Prevention Coordinator can give recommendations to building owners for access points. https://www.seattle.gov/police/crime-prevention/personal-safety-training
Retail Theft Program.
On Feb. 1, the Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities Committee initially discussed proposed legislation by Councilmember Strauss to extend free café street (streatery) permits until January 2023. This will be voted on in committee on Feb. 15, and then go to the full council. We continue to engage the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) on the pathway to permanency. You can view SDOT’s presentation here.
We need your help — tell your legislator to support more statewide relief for the hospitality industry!
Your engagement with lawmakers this year is absolutely vital. This year we are working to pass some serious relief for our industry.
Our requests for relief this year include:
- $15 million of the federal coronavirus relief funds to assist hotels that housed individuals under the eviction moratorium
- $200 million of the federal coronavirus relief funds to assist restaurants that are still waiting on federal relief
- Passage of HB 1359, to reduce liquor license fees to support the hardest hit restaurant segment
If you missed out on Hill Climb 2022 earlier this week, check our members-only site to see a replay of our legislative briefing. Listen as your CEO Anthony Anton, GA team, GAC chairs, and members of the Legislature discuss the state of the hospitality industry and the importance of securing financial relief this session.
The next meeting is on March 2.