Our first Rethinking Restaurants webinar focuses on how to access government funding. During the latest challenging times for the restaurant industry, this question seems concerning many chefs like Amanda Cohen from Dirt Candy, who’s also the founder of the IRC (Independent Restaurant Coalition), an association to support the local food scene in New York City and nationwide.
In the first webinar of the Rethinking Restaurants series in collaboration with Arlene Stein from Terroir Talk, we will understand the best practices & tools to provide your restaurant with financial support.
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Accessing Government Funding is the first session of Rethinking Restaurants, our latest webinar series to support chefs & business owners in the hospitality field by providing them with useful insights & tools from industry leaders.
🎙️ Speaker of the session: Amanda Cohen (Founder & Chef of Dirt Candy restaurant and Founder of the Independent Restaurant Coalition).
Here are the highlights from our webinar oh how to access government funding with Chef Amanda Cohen:
What does the restaurant landscape in NYC look like at the moment?
According to Chef Amanda Cohen, there are restaurants that are doing really well and restaurants that are doing…okay. Chef Amanda Cohen gave us an overview of the current restaurant scene in NYC and told us about the latest changes experienced at her restaurant Dirt Candy. The widespread community feeling in her neighborhood hasn’t stopped some restaurants to quit operations–as the chef comments, the streets were packed on Fridays and Saturdays. This situation made it instead harder for Dirt Candy to serve their customers in their patio due to COVID-19 restrictions and the crowded street where the restaurant is located.
What can restaurants do to attract a new clientele during these times?
I used to be this sort of “international chef” (…), so were my customers…and there are not tourists anymore. From this initial challenge, Chef Amanda Cohen shifted her focus into attracting new clients around the neighborhood. This also affected the menu and business model of Dirt Candy; many chefs realised they were jerks and now they need to be nice; before I wasn’t necessarily serving the people that live here in my community. The pandemic days seem to have brought Chef Amanda Cohen to open up to her neighborhood, as well as to revise her menu and make it somehow more accessible for families— which in most cases, it leads creative restaurants like Dirt Candy to revise their options or having to reasess restaurant operations— especially for a business model whose not designed to accept walk ins.
What needs to change in the system to make restaurants more sustainable?
Educating customers to pay more for food and working with governments are the steps towards a more sustainable restaurant scene, according to Chef Amanda Cohen. More information on how to support local restaurants in New York can be found by signing up to the newsletter of the Independent Restaurant Coalition.
Would you like to get deeper into the topic of how to access to government funding for your restaurant and hear more about Chef Amanda Cohen‘s stories?
Receive the full video:
🔍 Read more about Amanda Cohen from Dirt Candy and the IRC.