by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Metallica Supports World Central Kitchen

Metallica Supports World Central Kitchen

by David Klemt

Metallica band member portraits

Metallica is supporting World Central Kitchen to #StandWithUkraine via donations made through their non-profit organization, All Within My Hands.

To start off AWMH’s annual Month of Giving, the band and their philanthropic organization awarded WCK a $100,000 grant. They then donated $500,000 to the humanitarian non-profit founded by Chef José Andrés and his wife Patricia.

However, Metallica and AWMH aren’t done there. The iconic metal band and their non-profit have committed to the goal of donating another $400,000 to WCK.

Additionally, Metallica and AWMH have unveiled the Month of Giving 2022 T-shirt.


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A post shared by Metallica (@metallica)

The shirt can be pre-ordered here (I placed my order last Monday). Proceeds will go to the WCK #ChefsForUkraine campaign. Artist Andrew Cremeans created the brand-new design and donated it to AWMH.

People interested in making a donation to AWMH that will benefit WCK but who don’t want the T-shirt can click here.

All Within My Hands

The All Within My Hands Foundation was founded in 2017. Metallica and the band’s management are the founding members.

James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Kirk Hammett, and Robert Trujillo are members of AWMH’s board of directors. In addition, the organization’s advisory board has eight members:

  • Chris Anthony (Salesforce)
  • Howard Ellin (Skadden, Arps)
  • Brenda Goodman (BGood Marketing)
  • Bill Moore (WRVI Capital)
  • Doug Palladini (Vans)
  • Gregg Perloff (Another Planet Entertainment)
  • Michael Rapino (Live Nation)
  • Paula Wagner (Chestnut Ridge Productions)

AWMH’s mission focuses on three crucial pillars:

  • Workforce education with partner American Association of Community Colleges. The Metallica Scholars Initiative is now supported by 23 schools across the US. To date, $4.1 in grants have been awarded.
  • Fighting hunger in collaboration with partner Feeding America. Food banks are a heavy focus of Metallica and AWMH, with proceeds from tour ticket sales going to the fight against hunger.
  • Critical local services with their partner Direct Relief, which is active in all 50 states of America and more than 80 other countries.


World Central Kitchen mobilized incredibly quickly in response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Initially, WCK set up in Poland.

However, the the hunger-fighting organization has expanded operations to an additional six countries.

Further, WCK is now operating in over 30 cities located in Ukraine. As of this week, the non-profit is providing nearly 300,000 meals daily to those in need.

In staggering news, WCK has provided six million meals to the region in just over a month.

To donate to WCK directly, please click here.

Image: MasterClass

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Prepare for a Luxe Life Summer

Prepare for a Luxe Life Summer

by David Klemt

BMW M cars parked next to private airplane

When we think of restaurant and bar tech and platforms, we tend to think of POS and inventory solutions. But what about guest-facing services?

We’re all familiar with online ordering, reservation, and review platforms. What I’m talking about is guest-facing tech that focuses on the luxury lifestyle.

For those living the high-roller life, every convenience is at the tap of an icon, including private jets, helicopters, yachts, and luxury and exotic vehicles.

What does any of this have to do with hospitality? Anyone who serves or courts high-net-worth guests needs to understand how they live and what they expect. This is even more important as summer approaches, vaccine rates improve, and pandemic guidelines relax.

Additionally, there are partnerships and marketing opportunities for operators and luxury lifestyle platforms.


Flying private isn’t solely the domain of those who can afford to shell out several million dollars for the plane of their dreams.

The proliferation of the sharing economy means people can hop on a charter flight for a fraction of the cost.


Do you hate waiting in traffic, even if you’re not the one doing the driving? Wish you could just jump into the air and leapfrog a sea of cars keeping you from, say, an airport? With Blade, you can summon a helicopter and make your flight in minutes.


Formerly known as JetSuite X, JSX serves the western region of America and Texas. If the thought of flying commercial is unbearable at the moment, JSX makes it easy to jump onto a 30-seat set via private terminals for non-stop flights.


We’ve all been there: We want our own private jet but it’s just slightly out of reach at the moment (by many millions of dollars). NetJet gives people fractional ownership of private jets and provides top-notch, personal service. The company’s fleet includes everything from six-passenger Embraer Phenom 300 jets to the high-speed, long-range 14-passenger Bombardier Global 7500.

Wheels Up

This company offers three levels of membership: Connect, Core and Business. Wheels Up is more than a transportation app—they’re a lifestyle brand. The company offers membership perks such as exclusive events and concierge services, which should be of particular interest to hospitality operators.


There are a couple of tropes that come along with boat ownership. One is that the two happiest days for a boat owner are the day they take possession and the day they get rid of it.

And then there’s the classic “definition” of a boat: “A hole in the water into which one throws money.”

However, much like one can dial up a helicopter or grab a seat on a Gulfstream, people can now charter a yacht for a fraction of boat ownership. Choose the yacht that meets your yachtin’ needs, board it, and crank the yacht rock.


Any boat that someone uses for cruising, leisure, pleasure or racing is a yacht. So, the yacht life isn’t exclusively for ocean-going vessels. Float lets customers “rent the lake life,” connecting boat owners with people who want to rent boats on lakes. One of the best parts of Float is that it doesn’t, as far as we can tell, cost thousands of dollars per day to rent a boat via the platform.


This is a huge platform. We found more than 12,100 boats available in America, more than 4,400 in Australia, and well over 28,000 in Europe on GetMyBoat. Given the size of the platform, there’s a large swing when it comes to rental costs, which makes sense. For instance, there was a 21-inch Sea Hunt Ultra 210 for $44/hour (four-hour minimum) in Virginia and a 40-foot VanDutch Ultra Luxury Yacht for $4,000 for eight hours.


Serving an array of locations with a rather impressive portfolio of boats, YachtLife offers three membership levels catering to various needs. Beyond living the yacht life, the company provides perks and specials from their partners. This platform should be of particular interest to our Florida and Eastern Caribbean clients.

Four Wheels

So, someone grabs a helicopter to a private hangar, looking forward to lounging on the their rental yacht.

Sure, they could take a limo to the marina, or they could use the car service their plane or boat membership offers.

But they could also decide to drive themselves. Obviously, not just any car rental will do.


There are various Porsches and Mercedes listings on Turo that cost well under $200 a day. But for those looking for something exotic, a Lamborghini Huracan is around $1,000 per day, and an Aventador is around $1,400. You can’t show up to the marina behind the wheel of just anything, right?

Image: Jakob Rosen on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Let’s Talk About Bitcoin

Let’s Talk About Bitcoin

by David Klemt

A Bitcoin on top of a $100 bill

Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general are no strangers to media attention, but it seems like the coverage is increasing.

Of course, it helps when people who are excellent at garnering attention talk about it. Consider the explosion in news stories and online conversations about cryptocurrencies when Elon Musk tweeted about Dogecoin.

Then there’s the mystery factor. Many people don’t understand Bitcoin, Ethereum or other forms of cryptocurrency. The word itself—”crypto”—lends to the enigmatic air of this form of currency.

As a business owner, you should at least have a cursory understanding of cryptocurrency. After all, some people may try to pay you with it and you should at least consider meeting these guests where they are.

Before we proceed: I’m not a cryptocurrency or financial expert. I’m sharing information I’ve come across in my research over the years. Don’t make any financial or business decisions solely based upon what you read here—learn more for yourself and consult with experts before making investment decisions.

Crypto is Relevant to Our Industry

I’ve written about cryptocurrency—Bitcoin in particular—in the past. In one article, I wrote about a “nightclub” within a nightclub in Las Vegas devoted to cryptocurrency.

The club, MORE, had its own “coin” (MORE Coin), accepted other cryptocurrencies, and tailored its experience to crypto fanatics. It has become more of a members’ club, offering access to and preferential treatment at an array of venues, along with other perks. The club’s coin is purchased via Bittrex, a popular exchange platform

There are also hotels in Las Vegas (and other cities, of course) that accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for rooms. Bitcoin ATMs scattered throughout Vegas allow people to access their wallets and convert crypto to cash.

Paying with crypto may become more commonplace than we think, sooner than we think.

Crypto Basics

Let’s address the term “cryptocurrency.” In this case, “crypto” is a reference to the encryption technology that protects a cryptocurrency network.

Bitcoin and other digital tokens, such as Ethereum and Dogecoin, are decentralized currencies. That is, there’s no main server, no government, no bank that controls or owns the network.

A digital token is incredibly difficult—if not impossible—to counterfeit or “double-spend.” This is due to sophisticated encryption technology and the blockchain.

The blockchain is a peer-to-peer distributed ledger technology that makes it incredibly difficult (again, if not impossible) to take over a crypto network. Every transaction is public knowledge; open to inspection; duplicated and distributed throughout an entire network; and  unalterable.

It’s that last point that made Bitcoin viable. Unlike attempts in the past to create digital currencies, the blockchain makes crypto trustworthy in that someone can’t just make up a new currency, wait for people to buy in, and then take it all for themselves.

Bitcoin has become synonymous with cryptocurrency. It’s the first viable digital token as we know it, the most popular, and at the moment, the most valuable.

Interestingly, it’s widely accepted that Ethereum is the second-most popular digital token but the most-utilized blockchain.

Finally, Bitcoin is finite. There are exactly 21 million Bitcoins—that’s it. Once they’re all mined, no more will be made.

Beyond the Basics

Fewer than 2.4 million Bitcoins remain to be mined. Currently, one Bitcoin is worth about $58,000.

A person uses a digital “wallet” to send and receive Bitcoin. Some people store their unique wallet on their computer; a separate and dedicated hard drive; a thumb drive; or a “cold” wallet, a device that’s not connected to the Internet to protect it from hackers.

If a person loses their wallet or password, they lose their Bitcoin(s).  There’s no way yet to know how many of the 21 million Bitcoins have been lost.

Bitcoin is a software system. Therefore, it can be copied. That’s the reason crypto beyond Bitcoin—such as the aforementioned Ethereum and Elon Musk-promoted Dogecoin—exists.

One of the biggest questions people have about bitcoin is, “Is this a scam?” Search online and you’ll get a mix of results.

There are high-profile people like Jack Dorsey and Elon Musk who are apparently heavily invested in crypto. There are critics calling the whole thing a scam and fraud. Then there are some former critics, like Jordan “The Wolf of Wall Street” Belfort, who were highly critical and suspicious of crypto but have changed their tunes.

Support from hotels, restaurant chains, financial institutions and other legitimate businesses seems to answer the scam question. However, operators must proceed with caution, as they would for any change in their business or investment.

Accepting Bitcoin Payments

Businesses that decide to accept Bitcoin and/or other digital tokens will need a POS app or platform to do so.

Starbucks is reportedly using Bakkt to accept Bitcoin.

Other options include BitPay Checkout, Bitcoin Cash Register, Anypay, and Paytomat.

Some solutions create a QR code the guest scans with their phone to complete a transaction. Others convert digital tokens to cash to accept payment.

It’s important to note that the IRS treats cryptos differently than US dollars. Before choosing to accept cryptocurrencies as payment, consult with your tax professional and accountant to ensure you don’t run afoul of any laws.

Canadian operators should note that while crypto is legal in the country. However, only the Canadian considered official legal tender in Canada. Again, this is why it’s so important to consult relevant experts before proceeding with crypto in your business.


The information provided in this post does not constitute investment advice, financial advice, trading advice, or any other sort of advice. Neither the author nor KRG Hospitality recommend that any cryptocurrency should be bought, sold, or held by you. Conduct your own due diligence and consult your financial advisor before making any investment decisions.

Image: Bermix Studio on Unsplash 

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Why Hospitality Pros Need LinkedIn

Why Hospitality Pros Need LinkedIn

by David Klemt

LinkedIn logo with blue background

Contrary to popular opinion, LinkedIn isn’t just for serious and stuffy executives and “corporate” types.

In our view, all hospitality professionals should be building networks on the platform. Nobody in this industry is “just” a restaurant or bar worker—everyone is skilled.

When it comes to hospitality, anyone passionate about their role and interested in moving up is a professional.

Foodservice Jobs are Real Jobs

Just about everybody who works in a restaurant, bar, nightclub, lounge or brewpub faces this disrespectful question:

“When are you going to get a real job?”

One-third of Americans get their start in the workforce with jobs in foodservice.  In America, nearly half of adults will work in the industry at some point.

The first job for roughly one-quarter of Canadians is in foodservice.

Some people work in the industry to pay their way towards a degree. Some work in restaurants or bars while they hunt for jobs in their chosen industry. In some cases, people realize hospitality is their calling and they remain in the industry.

The point is, jobs in hospitality are real, skilled jobs. In other words, this is a real job.

Transferrable Skills & Opportunity

The skills hospitality professionals learn are valuable to more than just employers within the industry.

Leadership, teamwork, customer service, conflict resolution, crisis management, sales, marketing… These are just a handful of the skills companies in other sectors seek out and find valuable.

Further, a LinkedIn profile is valuable even if one isn’t looking to change jobs. Just filling one out effectively speaks to another important, transferrable skill: attention to detail. The same goes for building a resume that illustrates an understanding of transferrable skills.

Also, hospitality is, by its nature, a connected and engaging industry. It only makes sense, therefore, that hospitality professionals in all roles should have LinkedIn profiles to connect with one another and people in other industries.

One never knows where the next opportunity will come from.

Stay Informed

Generally speaking, Instagram is great for sharing memes and photos. Twitter…well, Twitter is often described as a chaotic dumpster fire.

Facebook has groups and there are people who present a professional image on the platform. However, LinkedIn is laser-focused on bringing professionals across several industries together.

Because of their approach, LinkedIn helps facilitate conversations about topics related to a vast array of sectors. People who take their careers seriously—whatever they may be—will likely find value in a platform not dominated by photos, memes, and users seeking nothing more than clout.

It’s common for LinkedIn users to share professional advice, company and career wins, and reports loaded with industry data.

Let’s Link

Connect with Doug Radkey, David Klemt and KRG Hospitality on LinkedIn today!

Image: Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Buy a Shirt. Fight Cancer.

Buy a Shirt. Fight Cancer.

by David Klemt

It’s the giving season and the hospitality industry is one that takes care of its own.

We all have the opportunity to help an industry veteran and also support an incredible cause.

In July of this year, Chris Patino was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer. One night he went to bed feeling fine and the next morning he was unable to get out of bed.

Patino is an industry advocate who has focused on elevating the art and craft of bartending, brand education, and executing incredible events. He’s a partner in the award-winning Raised by Wolves, founder of the strategic marketing agency Simple Serve, and a Bartender’s Weekend organizer.

Now, Patino has launched This T-Shirt Fights Cancer. The proceeds of each This T-Shirt Fights Cancer tee, designed by Dave Stolte, based on a design by Woodrow Guthrie, and originally sketched on the back of a napkin—so fitting for this industry—go to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PANCAN).

Like Patino, PANCAN is dedicated to building community, sharing information, and advocacy. The organization fights to improve the lives of those living with pancreatic cancer through advancements in research.

As we near the end of the year, please consider joining the fight against cancer and purchasing a This T-Shirt Fights Cancer tee. To quote Patino on his campaign page, “And as always, f*ck cancer.”

Image: This T-Shirt Fights Cancer

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Can Vending Machines Help Restaurants and Farmers Fight Food Waste and Generate Revenue?

Can Vending Machines Help Restaurants and Farmers Fight Food Waste and Generate Revenue?

by David Klemt

French farmers have found an innovative way to fight food waste, generate much-needed revenue, and provide fresh produce to the public: vending machines.

Last week, Barron’s, a publication dedicated to financial and investment news coverage, published an article about farmers in France finding more success selling produce via vending machines than their own farm stores.

All manner of items can be loaded into vending machines—fruits, vegetables, eggs and dairy products, for example—and famers are able to choose how many lockers their setups will include. For instance, one farmer invested in a 60-locker vending machine for €30,000, while another placed a machine with 88 lockers close to her farm.

Selling via vending machine was lauded by Barron’s as respectful of health and safety regulations since farmers and consumers aren’t interacting with one another directly.

This development begs the question: Would selling produce directly to consumers through vending machines prove viable in the United States and Canada?

The havoc afflicting the restaurant business doesn’t affect only the owners, operators and employees—it’s a shockwave ripping through other industries, such as farming and agriculture. For months, news coverage has included reports of farmers sharing stories of showing up to restaurants to deliver food only to find them closed, leaving farmers with surpluses of food destined to go to waste.

One option to make this work could include restaurant operators and local farmers partnering to set up vending machines (locker type, not the standard snack versions). This would help reduce the initial buy-in and both operators and farmers would have access: restaurants would use them for contactless meal and meal kit pickup, and farmers could accept direct-to-consumer orders of fresh produce fulfilled through the lockers.

In fact, creative operators may be able to build meal kits that combine their menu items with ingredients sourced from local farmers.

The partnership concept may prove more viable for connectivity reasons as well. In France, one major supplier of vending machines, according to Barron’s, indicated the machines required a reliable 4G connection, in part because they recommend only accepting credit card and online payments to reduce vandalism. Placing vending machines on-site should provide more stable connections and steadier consumer traffic.

Politicians continue to drag their feet and posture in regards to Covid-19 relief. It has been clear for months that the public and businesses without lobbying power are being left to fend for themselves. A partnership between restaurants and farmers could prove mutually beneficial for the survival of the restaurant, farming and agriculture industries.

When contacting their representatives to demand they help we the people and the restaurant industry, it could be wise to remind them that relief for restaurants is also relief for farmers, saving millions of jobs and thousands of farms at risk of permanent loss, along with avoiding literal tons of needless food waste.

Image: Alex Motoc on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

LCBO and SkipTheDishes Hit Pause on Partnership After Public Lashing

LCBO and SkipTheDishes Hit Pause on Partnership After Public Lashing

by David Klemt

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) faced outrage over the weekend, ultimately deciding to “pause” a controversial partnership after receiving a public lashing.

In case you missed it, the LCBO and SkipTheDishes announced on December 4 that they had partnered to offer home deliveries of beer, wine and spirits in Toronto. For those who are unfamiliar, SkipTheDishes is a food delivery service similiar to Grubhub that serves Canada. In fact, SkipTheDishes pulled out of the United States in 2020 and their services were handed over to Grubhub.

Just two days after the partnership was made public, it was announced by the LCBO that, due to “direction from the Ontario Government,” the deal had been suspended.

Restaurants and bars in Ontario have been allowed to offer alcohol for delivery and takeout since March via an emergency order due to the Covid-19 pandemic, shutdowns, and utter carnage that has befallen the industry. Many would like for the emergency order to be made permanent.

To understand the outrage, one must realize that restaurants and bars in Ontario have been operating under forced lockdowns. Premier Doug Ford announced the lockdown—which affected Toronto and Peel Region—on November 20. It went into effect a minute past midnight on November 23. No end date accompanied the mandate.

When the LCBO—which is able to make purchases and sales of beverage alcohol at lower wholesale prices than restaurant and bar owners and operators—arranged the deal with SkipTheDishes, those who operate in Toronto and Peel interpreted the move as undercutting their struggling businesses. Alcohol delivery and takeout is one of the only ways operators in those areas can generate any revenue and give themselves a fighting chance to keep from closing their doors permanently.

In terms of optics, the situation did anything but paint the LCBO and SkipTheDishes in a positive light. The LCBO, for those outside Canada, is what’s known as a Crown Corporation. That is, it’s entirely owned by the Sovereign of Canada—a state-owned enterprise. One could argue that it appeared the government in Ontario hobbled the LCBO’s competition—restaurants and bars—in an effort to boost their revenue and profits.

A tweet by operator and author Jen Agg regarding the timing of the partnership read, in part, “It is timed to UNDERCUT restaurants that are already bleeding out. It is timed to benefit companies that DONT NEED ANY HELP! It is timed to devastate restaurants and they damn well knew all of this.” (Emphasis Jen Agg’s.)

While the “pause” of the LCBO-SkipTheDishes partnership is a victory of sorts, countless operators—and likely customers and other small business supporters—would like to see this arrangement permanently dissolved. Several tweets have mentioned that the LCBO has increased profits during the pandemic, while others have pointed out that the Crown Corporation could help restaurants and bars by offering them wholesale pricing to reduce costs.

For now, operators in Ontario will need to keep their eyes and ears open, remaining vigilant should the LCBO and SkipTheDishes press play on their deal again.

Photo by Talha Atif on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

How Not to Handle a PR Crisis: Boston Market

How Not to Handle a PR Crisis: Boston Market

by David Klemt

So, you boasted about a significant boost in sales linked to one of America’s biggest holidays and then under-delivered to a catastrophic degree.

What do you do?

Certainly not what Boston Market did and is still doing: Proceed with your Thanksgiving-themed social media campaign and remain silent on your reported failures.

Last week, on Thanksgiving Eve, Randy Miller, president of Boston Market (which reportedly received a PPP loan of $5-10 million), told CNBC that Thanksgiving sales were up approximately 172 percent compared to 2019.

There are 346 Boston Market stores in the United States. Pop open Twitter, search “Boston Market,” and check out the tweets from about November 21 to today.

Twitter users, some of whom claimed to have spent $300 or more on preordered and prepaid Thanksgiving meals prepared by Boston Market, experienced a range of issues when they went to pick up their orders.

Tweets and reports abound of Boston Market customers experiencing one or more of the following:

  • Waits of up to three hours (if not longer). In a pandemic. On Thanksgiving Day.
  • Incomplete orders. Supposedly, this was due in some situations because walk-in guests were permitted to place orders they received before those waiting in line for preorders which, again, were paid for in advance.
  • Unprepared orders. Some Twitter users claimed they were given frozen or raw items to prepare themselves.
  • Missing orders. There are claims that some customers arrived to pick up their orders only to be told it wasn’t there.

Of course, that’s not the complete list of issues reported by Twitter users. Other tweets—and there are a lot—claim that people placed preorders, paid for them, and then received messages canceling their orders. Some of those cancellations allegedly occurred on Thanksgiving Day—and without refunds.

And what has Boston Market done so far? Continued to tweet on Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the following Sunday. Those tweets are still up, with a November 29 tweet about the final day of their Black Friday deal being the most current.

At the time of publication, there’s no tweet addressing Boston Market’s apparent Thanksgiving debacle. But there are plenty of replies with messages like this from one user:

“It’s not a happy thanksgiving when you tell us to wait in a very long line our Thanksgiving order that WE PAID $140 – and we’re here during our window.”

And this one, from a user who shared an image that purported to be of their $175.30 order:

“I’d be thankful if I could have waited in line for 2 hours to pickup our family’s Thanksgiving day meal. Unfortunately, the food was paid for, but never delivered to us. We’ll be eating sides from the grocery. Thanks Boston Market.”

The situation is no better on Instagram, with one user there commenting, in part, “Boston Market has taken NO RESPONSABILITY for the Thanksgiving disaster.” (Emphasis theirs).

Perhaps Boston Market is addressing or has already addressed affected customers offline. Perhaps some of the tweets weren’t real and posted by trolls doing their troll thing. Not everything, it turns out, on the Internet is real.

Boston Market still needs to release an official statement addressing what happened to many of their guests on Thanksgiving. That statement needs to be accompanied by social media posts.

How negative an impact Boston Market’s silence will have on their bottom line moving forward remains to be seen. However, as most owners and operators of customer-facing businesses know, an apology and offer to make things right goes a long way. Simply acknowledging a problem occurred and vowing to look into it can keep a bad situation from devolving further.

Saying nothing? Not a winning strategy.

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Competing Stimulus Plans Fail to Include RESTAURANTS Act

Competing Stimulus Plans Fail to Include RESTAURANTS Act

by David Klemt – 12/3/2020

Talk out of Washington, D.C., about yet more stimulus relief package negotiations is making one thing starkly clear: We’re on our own.

There’s no help coming, not from the federal government.

Unfortunately—but perhaps unsurprisingly—it appears the bipartisan support the RESTAURANTS Act received in Congress was an exercise in optics. The result? Fleeting hope.

Without a signature from the president, it doesn’t matter that Congress voted to pass a revised HEROES Act two months ago. Lest anyone forget, the last time a meaningful Covid-19 relief package was signed by the current president on March 27 of this year.

Another way to put that is that our elected officials haven’t managed to pass a stimulus package signed into law for 251 days. They did, however, find the time for a week-long recess for Thanksgiving.

It was announced just two days ago that a bipartisan group of congresspeople and senators had negotiated a $908 billion stimulus package. The intention was to strike a middle ground between Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) desire for a $500 billion package and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) proposed $2 trillion-plus bill.

Yesterday, multiple sources reported that the $908 billion—which apparently didn’t include the RESTAURANTS Act—was dead on arrival.

Of note, at least to me, is that Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) is reported to have mentioned that this week’s touted bipartisan package had been negotiated “over pizza or pasta at people’s houses.” I have to wonder if the pizza or pasta was prepared, provided and delivered by restaurants that are among the hundreds of thousands facing permanent closure if the government doesn’t actually act in a meaningful way.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, on his way to a House committee meeting, reportedly said, “The president will sign the McConnell proposal that he put forward yesterday, and we look forward to making progress on that.”

From what I was able to glean, the RESTAURANTS Act isn’t included in McConnell’s bill either. Neither are stimulus checks nor a federal boost to unemployment insurance payments. Supposedly it does include an extension of the problematic Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); liability protection for schools and businesses; and a $332 million grant for theaters and live venues.

If the tone of this article comes across as angry, I freely admit that’s an accurate assessment. The RESTAURANTS Act was first introduced to Congress on June 15. Elected officials have had 171 days to help the hospitality industry.

The industry that employs more than 16 million people—11 million of which are employed by independent restaurants. The industry that generates well over $760 billion in annual sales. The industry that accounts for 3.5 percent of America’s GDP. The industry that has for years provided venues, food and drinks for elected officials’ countless re-election campaign fundraisers.

The industry that, should tens or hundreds of thousands of restaurants close their doors permanently, will shed millions of jobs that will not return.

And that’s just what’s happening to the industry in the United States. The industry is similarly at extremely high risk for irreversible devastation in Canada and throughout the world.

So, yes—I’m angry. I’m angry that the millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of dollars this industry contributes just to America apparently don’t mean much to government officials.

I suppose I can only blame myself for holding out hope that the RESTAURANTS Act would be signed into law. After all, the president, speaking about restaurants back in March, said, “they’ll all come back in one form or another,” adding, “It may not be the same restaurant, it may not be the same ownership, but they’ll be back.”

They won’t be back. We’ve already suffered permanent closures. There was no prescience—or empathy—in the president’s statement. Let me make this clear: I’m not laying all of this solely at his feet. America’s politicians on all sides have failed the hospitality industry and therefore millions of Americans.

Restaurants, bars, lounges, nightclubs, hotels… This is an industry that consists of incredibly resilient people. There comes a point, however, that even the most resilient need help.

As hospitality professionals fight to return to their feet, bloodied and battered from countless blows, it doesn’t seem that the government is in their corner. Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong, but we’ve been at this crossroads for months now.

Image: Caleb Perez on Unsplash

by krghospitality krghospitality No Comments

KRG Hospitality Expands Team with Director of Business Development

KRG Hospitality Expands Team with Director of Business Development

by KRG Hospitality – 12/1/2020

December 1, 2020, Burlington, Ontario, Canada–KRG Hospitality, a strategic and creative hospitality consulting agency, today announces the addition of industry veteran and journalist David Klemt to the team. Mr. Klemt will take on the role of Director of Business Development at KRG Hospitality.

Before joining KRG Hospitality, Mr. Klemt gained decades of experience in hospitality working in multiple roles. He kicked off his career as a host at an international chain restaurant, worked as a server at restaurants big and small, became a bartender, co-founded a nightlife-specific valet company, and moved into nightlife marketing and promotions.

For the past 15 years, Mr. Klemt has reported on the industry as a hospitality business journalist. He held the title of editor for Nightclub & Bar’s digital publication for five years. Mr. Klemt founded hospitality news and resources site Hospitality Villains earlier this year after losing his editing job due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re entering a new era of hospitality brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and an industry-wide reckoning with the old way of doing business that forced operators to accept single-digit profit margins,” said Mr. Klemt. “I’m excited and eager to help hospitality professionals thrive as the industry undergoes its next evolution. KRG Hospitality is a driven, dynamic and creative solutions-based agency that aligns with my values and passion for this industry.”

In his role as Director of Business Development at KRG Hospitality, Mr. Klemt will be responsible for developing the agency’s partner network, hosting the Bar Hacks podcast, writing informative articles, publishing expert contributors, and overseeing KRG Hospitality’s social media platforms.

About KRG Hospitality

KRG Hospitality is a storied brand with a proven track record. The agency has delivered exceptional and award-winning concepts throughout a variety of markets found within Canada, the United States, and abroad over the past decade. KRG Hospitality provides a clear framework tailored to each client, writing detailed strategic plans; creating award-winning concepts; facilitating start-up projects; finding gaps in existing strategies; developing solutions to known problems; identifying opportunities for growth; and inspiring others through unique seminars, workshops, and on-going coaching methods. Currently, KRG Hospitality operates in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Nashville, Orlando, Philadelphia, and the Eastern Caribbean. Visit to learn more.

Image: Alex Knight on Unsplash