Executive Briefing

How our favorite restaurants are improvising as they wait for a Covid-19 lifeline

This won’t work for long. But the rush of creativity is inspiring.

The restaurant industry is collapsing in front of us, as the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has forced many to close their dining rooms, and as “social distancing” becomes our way of life for the next several weeks or months.

Yesterday, Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group laid off 2,000 employees — 80% of its workforce — “due to a near-complete elimination of revenue,” showing that even the most successful, best-run restaurant groups are confronting a unique existential threat.

While most businesses in any category are now extremely vulnerable, the restaurant industry is particularly at risk — a microcosm of America, where most live hand to mouth, paycheck to paycheck, in a just-in-time economy.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported entirely by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my twice-weekly, member-exclusive newsletter. Thanks in advance.

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