The restaurant industry is historically one of the hardest to find success in. According to FSR, 60 percent of restaurants fail in their first year, while 80 percent go out of business within five years. Bright-eyed dreamers have still taken the plunge despite the grim outlook and staggering costs of overhead. 2020 has sadly made it even more difficult to succeed. According to Forbes, with revenue instantly halting, 40 percent of American restaurants were shuttered this year leaving over 8 million people out of work. Out of these staggering numbers, the Independent Restaurant Coalition was formed. Comprised of over half a million businesses and 11 million workers, these restaurants and chefs lobby before state and federal governments to seek relief due to the loss of income associated with mandates.
A movement has spread across social media to support these businesses that we love, otherwise, they might not make it another day. While some have reopened, they’ve mostly been limited to takeout, delivery, or only outdoor dining options. Businesses have sought out alternative revenue streams with the push to purchase gift cards for future use and even merch. The Collins Bar, located in Birmingham, Alabama, is a craft cocktail bar that was forced to temporarily close in March. They got resourceful and partnered with a local t-shirt company to create a line of streetwear with proceeds benefitting their staff.